Muhammad Ali’s grandson on the trail of his grandfather

by
Muhammad Ali’s grandson on the trail of his grandfather
Muhammad Ali's grandson on the trail of his grandfather. Photo: Courtesy

Muhammad Ali’s grandson on the trail of his grandfather

by
Muhammad Ali’s grandson on the trail of his grandfather
Muhammad Ali's grandson on the trail of his grandfather. Photo: Courtesy

A great excitement has arisen in the American boxing world and will surely spread to all the latitudes where boxing has millions of followers, is the announcement of the professional middleweight debut of Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of the legendary former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, the most renowned athlete of the last century and one of the greatest fighters in history.

Nico Ali will make his professional debut on the 14th of this month at the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a preview of the main event fight between Texas’ Joshua Franco and Australia’s Andrew Moloney for the former’s WBA super flyweight crown.

Nico will fight Jordan Weeks, opponent appointed by Bob Arum’s Top Rank, promoter of 27 of Ali’s fights, like the fight in Manila on 10/1/75 against Joe Frazier, won by Ali in 14 rounds, and the fight against Ken Norton in Los Angeles, on 9/10/73 in San Diego, in which Ali took revenge 6 months later against the former Marine, who previously broke his jaw and won him a split decision in 12 rounds.

Ali’s grandson, Nico, 20, a college student in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the son of retired Marine Sergeant Robert Walsh, and Rasheda Ali ( Jamillah’s twin), daughter of former actress Belinda Boyd, the second of the famous former heavyweight ruler’s four wives. Rasheda is an outstanding speaker (inherited, from her father, who spoke his mind), who is raising funds to fight Parkinson’s disease, which afflicted her father since 1981 and eventually led to his death due to various complications, on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74. Ali is the only fighter in history to have won the heavyweight title three times, in 1964. 1974 y 1978.

Little is known about Nico Ali’s amateur performance. It has barely been disclosed that he has made about 30 fights, with no information about the record of wins, losses and defeats. Arum, who signed him for several fights, when he announced his signing to the pro ranks a few days ago said, jokingly, that “his grandfather was a pretty good fighter. Hopefully, Nico will emulate his success. He has a great character, which is to be expected in a grandson of Muhammad Ali.” For his part, the youngster said, “I’m honored to carry on my grandfather’s fighting legacy. I’m doing what I love and proud to have signed with Top Rank.”

Ali’s grandson is only the third person in the family to choose boxing as a profession. Following Ali was Laila, one of ten children of the celebrated “Big Mouth,” whom Time magazine said was one of America’s most influential personalities of the 20th century, not only for his boxing brilliance but also for his struggles in the field of civics in defense of his race and religion and against racism. Laila Ali was champion of the super middleweight and lightweight in the women’s versions of the IBF, WBC and IBA. She fought from 1999–2007 and retired undefeated with 21 knockouts in 24 fights, with no draws.

Back with Nico Ali Walsh, his debut fight will be part of the event featuring the World Boxing Association regular super bantamweight championship bout between defending champion Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney, as we mentioned before. It will be the third battle between them. In the first one Franco won by unanimous decision on June 23 last year at The Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five months later they faced each other in the same scenario and the fight was suspended in the second round due to a controversial blow in the eye received by Franco and that the referee Russell Mora stopped because he appreciated that it had been an accidental impact, even though Moloney claimed a clean hit. The controversy is supposed to have resulted in a replay of the bout on the 14th of this month, as we said.


WBA Interim Welterweight Title declared vacant



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