How Did Muhammad Ali’s Grandson Do In His First Professional Boxing Match?

Nico Ali Walsh's career is off to a promising start

Nico Ali Walsh
Nico Ali Walsh is victorious as he defeats Jordan Weeks at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on August 14, 2021 in Catoosa, Oklahoma.
Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Plenty of young athletes make their professional boxing debuts every year. However, the vast majority of them are not related to one of the greatest to ever take part in the sport. For Nico Ali Walsh, however, there’s a matter of a certain high-profile family legacy — namely, he’s one of Muhammad Ali’s grandchildren. As legacies go, that’s a big one. It’s also led to a number of profiles in the lead-up to the fight, such as this one in The New York Times.

Walsh spent the last seven years training to prepare himself and hone his skills in the ring, according to NPR. And on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Walsh earned a knockout victory over opponent Jordan Weeks in the first round.

Writing at Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Iole set the scene for Walsh’s debut, pointing out that Walsh wore a pair of his grandfather’s shorts to compete. “[I]t was hard not to get goosebumps by the scene,” Iole noted.

At the New York Times, Morgan Campbell pointed out that Walsh’s family connections to boxing go deeper than just his grandfather — his aunt Laila Ali was also, during her time in the ring, a formidable fighter with a career record of 24-0.

The Times also noted that Walsh’s promoter, Top Rank, was co-founded by Bob Arum, whose career began when promoting a 1966 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Chuvalo. There’s more than a little historical resonance in Walsh’s career — but so far, it’s off to a promising start.

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