Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of none other than Muhammad Ali, won his first official boxing match over the weekend. The 21 year old knocked out opponent Jordan Weeks only a minute and 49 seconds into the first round of their bout.
“Alhamdulillah for the victory!” said Ali Walsh after the lightning quick match. “I’m blessed and honoured to say that I continued history tonight. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that supported me.” A successful debut.
Ali Walsh honoured his late grandfather in more ways than just the speed and power of his punches. He also wore trunks that were originally made for Ali, and were worn by the greatest of all time during his heyday.
“I’ve never been able to escape my grandfather, no matter what sport I played. I’m starting to embrace it.” Ali Walsh told the New York Times prior to his fight. “You have to embrace the legacy, no matter what it is. Everybody becomes stronger when they embrace what they’re destined to do.”
The grandson of the GOAT is 21 and is still in college, but his aspirations and drive towards boxing are clear. He is currently signed and promoted by Top Rank, a boxing promotion company headed by Bob Arum, Muhammad’s old promoter.
“His grandfather would have been so proud of the way he’s honouring him in his own way,” said Arum, a lifelong friend and companion to the late great Ali. “We at Top Rank are looking forward to leading him on his professional journey.”
To follow in the steps of the greatest of all time is no easy task, but suffice to say, it’s in the young man’s blood.
Sources: CBC.CA, CNN.COM, YAHOOSPORTS.COM, NYTIMES.COM