Ali Salaam, the father and trainer of Tony Harrison, has died from COVID-19.
Harrison confirmed his father’s death Monday through his Instagram account. Salaam was 59.
Harrison wrote: You was in a tough fight and you went the distance. The decision just didn’t go our way, but we was together every step of the way. What more could I ask!!!! My right hand forever. Get some rest, pops. It ain’t goodbye. Just see you later!!
Salaam trained pros and amateurs for many years in his hometown of Detroit. He helped guide his son to winning the WBC super welterweight title in December 2018, when Harrison upset undefeated Jermell Charlo by 12-round unanimous decision at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Charlo regained that title from Harrison in their rematch December 21, when Charlo knocked him out in the 11th round at Toyota Center in Ontario, California.
Salaam also helped Harrison, the second youngest of eight children, run a gym, SuperBad Fitness, that provided a safe haven for children in Detroit.
Salaam was a professional boxer before shifting his focus to training fighters. He went 11-7 (5 KOs) mostly as a welterweight from 1984-89.
Salaam was the son of the late Henry Hank, a contender in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions during a 19-year pro career. Hank went 62-30-4, including 40 knockouts, from 1953-72.
Hank, whose birth name was Joseph Harrison, later changed his name to Jusuf Salaam.
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