Nico Ali Walsh, Muhammad Ali’s grandson, wins in pro debut

“It’s been an emotional journey, this whole ride,” Nico Ali Walsh says

Loading the player...

Nico Ali Walsh made a successful pro debut Saturday night, winning in the first round and then paying homage to his grandfather, Muhammad Ali.

Wearing trunks made for his grandfather, Ali Walsh knocked down his outmatched opponent midway through the first round before the middleweight fight was finally stopped at 1:49 of the round with Ali Walsh landing unanswered punches to the head.

“It’s been an emotional journey, this whole ride,” Ali Walsh said. “Obviously, my grandfather, I’ve been thinking about him so much. I miss him.”

Nico Ali Walsh celebrates after defeating Jordan Weeks during a middleweight boxing bout Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, near Tulsa, Okla. (Brett Rojo/Tulsa World via AP)

The fight between Ali Walsh, a 21-year-old college student, and Jordan Weeks was notable not because of anything the two had done in the ring, but because Ali Walsh was trying to follow in his grandfather’s large footsteps into boxing.

Still, Ali Walsh looked competent for a relative novice and displayed good hand speed and power against Weeks, an MMA fighter who had been stopped in his last boxing match.

Ali Walsh celebrated with family members in the ring afterward along with 89-year-old promoter Bob Arum, who promoted 27 of Muhammad Ali’s fights.

Nico Ali Walsh, right, fights Jordan Weeks during a middleweight boxing bout Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, near Tulsa, Okla. (Brett Rojo/Tulsa World via AP)

“I’m a believer in genes,” Arum said.

Ali Walsh said the white trunks with black lining were made for his grandfather, who gave them to him.

“I’m never wearing these trunks again,” he said.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...