Laila Ali to have knee surgery following 'Dancing with the Stars' finale
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/21/2007
Laila Ali has a record of 24-0 as a professional boxer -- and she hopes Dancing with the Stars' fourth season won't break her unbeaten streak when she and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy will compete in the reality competition's finale. However it won't be easy, as she'll reportedly be competing with two bum knees.
"I think I've worn out all the cartilage," Ali told the New York Post, adding she'll most likely have surgery -- "probably on both knees" -- following Dancing with the Stars' fourth season run.
While Ali, the daughter of boxer Muhammad Ali, was commonly referred to as "She Bee Stingin" as one of the most celebrated professional female boxers in American history, the Post reported she's also earned the nickname of "Spare Parts" from her trainers due to all of the injuries she's overcome to amass her undefeated record in the ring.
Now it appears Ali will have to use the same grit and perseverance for the Dancing with the Stars 4 finale, as she's reportedly been wrapping special black elastic bands below her kneecaps every day while rehearsing to alleviate some of the pressure.
"But I'm not supposed to be putting any pressure on my knees and that's what I've been doing every day with this dancing," she told the Post.
Some people may find dancing as a way to relax as well as to distance themselves from the constant rigor of every day life. But that's not been the case for Ali, who's apparently in it to win it and ready to fight through the pain to joinDancing with the Stars'third season champEmmitt Smith as the second consecutive former athlete to capture the show's mirror ball trophy.
"I have two bad shoulders, two bad knees, a bad back and my wrists are a little weak," Ali told the Post. "So it's not at all therapeutic for me. But I don't complain. You know what I do. I take body shots. I'm used to working through the pain."
Dancing with the Stars' tenth and final performance episode of its fourth season will take place on Monday, May 21 on ABC from 8PM to 9PM ET/PT, with the three remaining couples -- Ali and Chmerkovskiy; Former N Sync singer Joey Fatone and partner Kym Johnson; and two-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and partner Julianne Hough -- performing a dance style chosen by the judges as well as a freestyle routine of their own creation. Then on Tuesday, May 22,Dancing with the Stars will air a special two-hour 8-10PM ET/PT live results show and reveal the winning couple.