Heartbroken dad of boxing prodigy son said he wanted to become world champion before fatal car crash

The heartbroken dad of a boxing prodigy who died in a car crash has revealed his ‘talented son had lofty ambitions to become a world champion’. Ali Tazeem, aged 18, was tipped for huge success in the boxing world having signed a professional contract in March and won glowing plaudits from former British world champion Amir Khan.

But his young life was tragically cut short after a red Vauxhall Corsa which he was a passenger in crashed on Oaks Drive, wolverhamptonat around 1.45am on Sunday, April 17. His dad Toheed Tazeem, 42, who is known as Dr Tee, said he and his family have been left ‘absolutely devastated’ by Ali’s death.

Dr tee, who is the head coach at Pound 4 Pound Boxing Academy in Walsall, said: “He was a wonderful, loving, caring, well-mannered, talented kid. He was very devoted to his religion as well, being a Muslim.

READMORE:Amir Khan pays tribute to tragic Ali Tazeem killed in car crash branding it ‘a big loss for British Asian boxing community’

“He was just an all-round good kid, he was too good to be true. He had friends of every colour.

“Kids loved him in the gym – when he walked in a room, he would light it up. He was just like an angel. It is hard to describe, he was a special, special kid.

Tragic Black Country boxer Ali Tazeem with Amir Khan
Tragic Black Country boxer Ali Tazeem with Amir Khan

“He had everything about him. His heart was in the right place. He was caring, loving. He loved everybody, he was such a beautiful soul.

“I think God loved him more than we did. As parents, we say our kids are our kids, but in reality, our kids ain’t our kids. They belong to God. God has just taken what belonged to him. We were just carers for the 18 years we had with him.”

West Midlands Police has not formally named Ali as the crash victim however Dr Tee said Ali died in the crash. The driver of the Corsa, who was also aged 18, has been left fighting for their lives in hospital.

A friend of Ali said that he died within the streets of his home. Ali, who lived in Wolverhampton, attended Colton Hills Community School in Wolverhampton.

He had been boxing since he was in primary school and won an array of gold medals fighting at competitions at home and abroad growing up. These included the Bristol Box Cup, in Bristol, the Main Event Box Cup, in London, the Black Forest Box Cup, in Germany, and the Monkstown Box Cup in Ireland.

His dad has traveled around the world with him, too, watching him box and going from success to success. Ali’s sharp skills caught the eye of former unified lightweight champion Amir Khan in 2016, who began following his career.

Khan hailed his skillset and movement and tipped him to become the ‘next big thing’ – saying Ali reminded him of himself as a younger boxer. Khan, who attended Dr Tee’s boxing gym numerous times, visited Ali’s family on Sunday, April 17, and paid tribute to the young boxer, saying his death was a “big loss” to the British Asian boxing community.

Dr Tee said Ali – who had held a coaching session for former Wolves winger Adama Traore – had aspirations to become the first ‘half-Chinese, half-Pakistani’ world champion. Ali had fought his last amateur fight in West Bromwich on March 26 and signed a contract with promoters Probellum, with three fights lined up this year.

Dr Tee said: “He had just got signed with a promotional deal, one of the biggest promoters in the world, a promotion company called Probellum. He got signed by them on his last amateur fight in West Bromwich, on March 26.

“He was supposed to have three fights scheduled this year as a professional. He was so excited. We planned and God had other plans.” Dr Tee added: “He was not just my son, he was my best mate.

“We traveled the world together, from Cuba to tournaments around the world. Ali was just winning everything, getting the best boxer of the tournament. This is where he wanted to win a world title. He wanted to become the first half-Chinese, half-Pakistani kid to win a world title. That was his goal.”

West Midlands Police has launched an investigation into the fatal car crash. A spokesperson said: “We’re keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and saw the red Vauxhall Corsa.

“We’re particularly keen to secure any dashcam footage.” Anyone with information can contact West Midlands Police via the Live Chat on the force’s website and quote log 295 of 17 April.

For the latest on Wolverhampton, read our Black Country Newsletter


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