Thousands attend funeral prayer paying tribute to teenage boxer Ali Tazeem from Birmingham
Aston Park was heaving with thousands of mourners on Friday to pay their final respects to gifted young boxer Ali Tazeem who tragically died in a car crash on Easter Sunday in Wolverhampton.
Ali Tazeem’s family and friends were also in attendance in Aston Park as prayers were offered up for the 18-year-old boxing prodigy in Birmingham yesterday (22 April).
The teenager tragically lost his life after the car he was travelling in crashed into a wall in Merridale Road, Wolverhampton in the early hours of Sunday 17 April. The talented young boxer, who was a passenger in the car, died at the scene.
Ali Tazeem’s funeral service in Aston Park was attended by thousands of fans, well-wishers, and local residents who knew Tazeem and his family.
A beautiful sermon was delivered by Imam Ijaz Ahmad Shaami at the mosque in Albert Road, Aston, and then Tazeem’s coffin – which was decorated with wreaths and boxing gloves – was transferred by a horse and carriage hearse to Aston Park where people had gathered in their thousands to pay their respects and offer up prayers for an inspirational young man.
The event organisers had arranged a space for mourners in Aston Park where family members and Tazeem’s friends, including religious leaders, gave speeches and shared memories.
Hazrat Pir Noor Arifeen Siddiqi Sahib lead the funeral prayer for Tazeem in the vast open space as thousands of well-wishers observed a solemn silenced and prayed in unison.
Toheed Tazeem, 42, the young boxer’s father, was devastated and heartbroken at the loss of his son. Friends and family members had to console the grief-stricken father as prayers and tributes were read out.
Toheed was deeply touched by the wave of love in response to the tragic death of his son who he described as a “kind-hearted, humble and beautiful soul” who inspired local youth in the community towards positive projects.
In line with Tazeem’s vision to inspire and help others a fundraiser has been set up by family and friends in the holy month of Ramadan to raise money for charity projects both here in the UK and abroad. The campaign has thus far raised over £10,00 and contributions continue to pour in.
There was a massive outpouring of tributes both at the funeral and also online. Aston council candidate Nazma Meah (Breakthrough Party) attended the funeral and described the turnout for Tazeem as “huge”, adding “So much love and duas (prayers) for the angel. RIP.”
Councillor Majid Mahmood (Lab), who attended the funeral, said: “I’m shocked and saddened that Ali Tazeem has left this temporary world.
“A young, very talented, humble and very well liked boxer who turned professional this year and was destined to become a champion.”
President of the World Boxing Council (WBC) Mauricio Sulaimán presented a special medal of honour as a “token of appreciation and inspiration” to Tazeem’s family and said: “I would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of Ali Tazeem – a young boxer, 18 years old, who had a dream of becoming a great champion in our sport. May God bless you.”
Ali Tazeem, who was born in the Midlands, was seen as a “rising star” and a future British and World boxing champion.
In his last amateur fight in West Bromwich in March, he announced that he was turning professional and had signed a major contract with Probellum just weeks before his untimely death.
Probellum offered up tributes on Friday night during boxing bouts where several boxers paid poignant tribute to Tazeem and rang bells in his memory.
Sam Jones, Head Of Talent Relations at Probellum, tweeted a photo of himself with Tazeem following his death, and wrote:
“This morning I woke up to the news that Ali Tazeem has passed away at the age of 18, I can’t believe it I can’t even process it properly, We only spoke yesterday talking about how he was going to light up the pro game, all I can think about is Ali and his lovely family.”
This morning I woke up to the news that @_AliTazeem has passed away at the age of 18 ,I can’t believe it I can’t even process it properly , We only spoke yesterday talking about how he was going to light up the pro game , all I can think about is Ali and his lovely family. 💔 pic.twitter.com/K3qRLsjgt5
— Sam Jones (@mrsamjones88) April 17, 2022
The talented teenager – who had trained with Floyd Mayweather Sr – had won 51 amateur bouts, and had amassed 15 gold medals from major international boxing matches.
British boxer Amir Khan had seen Tazeem perform and proclaimed – before tragedy struck – that the teenager was the “next Amir Khan” who would go on to become a legend.
Following the open funeral prayer service on Friday, Tazeem’s burial took place on Saturday 23 April in a private ceremony attended by family members.