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New Ali’s attempt to evade boxing’s impossible task


The challenge Nico Ali Walsh has is as brutal as any fight he’ll ever take on. He recognises the benefits of being Muhammad Ali’s grandson, but also the weight that comes with it.

As boxing’s greatest name returns to the sport, Nico Ali Walsh insists he won’t fall into the ‘impossible’ trap of attempting to emulate his grandfather Muhammad Ali’s celebrated career.

Having won all five of his professional fights, including four KOs, since making his debut in August last year, Nico Ali Walsh has made an impressive start to his boxing career.

The progress Ali Walsh has made through the early stages of his professional career is made all the more remarkable by the fact he’s been balancing a university degree in business and entrepreneurship.

Carrying the Ali surname, the 21-year-old felt the weight of expectation during the early stages of his career. 

However, he now takes it in his stride and stays composed in the ring.

The middleweight contender made his Las Vegas debut recently at the MGM Grand and recorded a sensational first round knockout against Alejandro Ibarra.

The MGM Grand was rocking with chants of ‘Ali’ as Ali Walsh entered the ring, which brought out plenty of emotion in his mum.

“I’m bringing my grandpa back to life,” Ali Walsh said post-fight.

“That’s why mum gets so emotional because she’s seeing her dad again and hearing her dad’s name.”

Muhammad Ali was the first boxer that veteran Top Rank boxing promoter Bob Arum represented.

Arum credits Ali for helping him develop his career and he sees a bright future ahead for his grandson Ali Walsh.

“I can’t help but realise that so many years ago, when I promoted his grandfather in the first fight that I promoted, that without the support of his grandfather, I wouldn’t be here today as a boxing promoter,” Arum said before Ali Walsh’s latest fight.

Nico Ali Walsh2
Nico Ali Walsh is slowly building his professional resume, up to an unblemished five-win record.

“So for me, every time Nico gets in the ring, it is something that really takes me to the start of Bob Arum as a boxing promoter when I first promoted Muhammad Ali.”

Ali Walsh hopes his next fight will be in the UK, a place where his grandfather tasted success. 

During his 61-fight career, Muhammad Ali fought twice in London, beating Henry Cooper at Arsenal’s Highbury stadium and Brian London at Earls Court in 1966.

“I’m not trying to do the impossible,” Ali Walsh told Sky Sports before his latest fight.

“I’m trying to build off it and create my own thing.

“I want to continue my grandfather’s legacy in the ring and outside the ring, but while doing so I want to create my own path, a legacy of my own.”

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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