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Meet the Forest Gate kickboxing champion hoping to make it in the music industry

PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 April 2018

Ali Jacko Picture: Rachel Crowley

Ali Jacko Picture: Rachel Crowley

Rachel Crowley

A five-time world kickboxing champion is taking the fight from the mat to the mic in a bid to get his music heard.

A chance meeting as a young boy with Muhammad Ali inspired Ali Jacko to get into kickboxing despite a serious heart condition which would have stopped most people.

Now Ali, from Forest Gate, is using his professional pedigree to transfer success in the ring to the recording booth.

The 48-year-old is releasing a new song on his website, along with an accompanying music video, once a month until November.

Ali, who retired from kickboxing in 2002, says he’s set on proving his musical talent is as good as his athletic prowess.

“Kickboxing was something I did and everyone underestimated me and I came out on top because of my determination,” he said.

“People feel like I’m doing music just for fun and a lot aren’t taking it seriously but now I think I’m starting to catch their attention as a credible artist.”

Despite his parents’ initial opposition to kickboxing, over fears it might lead to crime, Ali rose to the top.

The lack of support didn’t stop him and he says it won’t now with his music.

“I’ve learnt that to achieve anything in life you have to make sacrifices and believe in yourself,” he said.

“I’ve taken the same approach and attitude to my music.”

Ali has no regrets about his late arrival to music nor would he change how he’s come to his new career.

He said: “I wouldn’t change my pathway into music. I think starting later has given me time to really find my sound.”

Taking inspiration from the likes of Bob Marley, Bryan Adams and Tina Turner Ali feels his songs offer something for everyone.

“Music has been a gift to me and I’m embracing it to the full,” he said. “I’d like to think my music touches people’s hearts and offers something for everyone at some point in their life.”

Ali’s music is being released on his website alijacko.com where his latest single ‘What If I Loved You Like That?’ was released at the weekend.


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