New WBO junior middleweight champion Sadam Ali has answered the question of whether or not he would go back down to 147 pounds.
Ali spoke to Boxingscene.com and said he will remain at 154 pounds and defend the title he won after defeating Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden on December 2. That fight would end up being Cotto's last boxing match.
"Personally, I felt strong at 154. I felt really good in there. I have the world title, so I don’t see why I should go back down," Ali said.
It is a different answer to the one he gave at the press conference after Ali's fight with Cotto. Ali was noncommittal when asked about staying at 154 pounds or dropping down back to 147 pounds. Now that Ali will remain at 154 pounds, he'll look for big fights in 2018, which include potential unification fights against other world champions. Ali said he's noticed other boxers call him out and Ali welcomes the challenges.
“Of course they’re gonna wanna call me out now,” Ali said. “They see that I’m just coming up to the weight class. They see that I have the world title. They might think that they have the chance to easily beat me, which they would be wrong.
If Ali doesn't have a unification fight, then his first chance could be against Liam Smith, who won a title eliminator against Liam Williams on November 11. Ali once challenged for the WBO welterweight title, but lost to Jessie Vargas in 2016.