Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of former heavyweight champion and boxing legend Muhammad Ali, defeated Jordan Weeks by technical knockout in his professional boxing debut on Saturday.
Middleweight fighter Ali Walsh is the son of Robert Walsh and Rasheda Ali Walsh, Muhammad Ali’s daughter. The 21-year-old signed a deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing in June ahead of his first professional fight in Oklahoma.
Ali Walsh, who wore trunks his grandfather had given to him, knocked down Weeks midway through the first round before the referee stopped the fight shortly afterwards.
“Obviously my grandfather, I’ve been thinking of him so much. I miss him. It’s been an emotional journey,” Ali Walsh told ESPN. “I think me and him [Weeks] made a little bit of history tonight. This lived up completely to my expectations.”
Muhammad Ali died in June 2016. His record-setting boxing career, unprecedented flair for showmanship and stands on civil rights made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century.
“It seems like a lot of pressure; to me, it’s just my grandfather,” said Ali Walsh, who grew up in Las Vegas. “He’s the greatest fighter who ever lived – maybe the greatest person.
He also appeared to signal his tread his own path going forwards: “I’m never wearing these trunks again.”