Nico Ali Walsh, Madison Square Garden
Nico Ali Walsh at Madison Square Garden ahead of Saturday's debut fight. (Photo: AP)
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Nico Ali Walsh may have a famous grandparent, but he’s looking to make his own name in the world. The grandson of legend Muhammad Ali, Mr. Ali Walsh recently entered professional boxing, and this weekend marks his third professional fight

Walsh is set to fight on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City — the site of many of his grandfather’s famous bouts. But while young Mr. Ali Walsh credits his grandfather for introducing him to the sport, he wants to make his own name, in his own way.

According to Mr. Ali Walsh, “I would just say I’m an aggressive fighter, and I just try to use that forward aggression in a fight to win fights and to knockouts.” He is currently 2-0 in professional boxing matches, and looks to make it 3-0 after Saturday’s battle against Xander Zayas. 

Nico Ali Walsh seeks to make a name for himself in the world of professional boxing

Ali Walsh, the son of Muhammad Ali’s daughter Rasheda, joined the amateur boxing circuit at the age of 14, and turned pro at age 21. When he’s not training or competing, he’s a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, although he has not attended class in person since 2020 due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic.

Nico welcomes comparisons to his famous grandfather, who he lovingly refers to as “Poppy”. “People love him,” confirmed the young boxing protege. “It’s awesome to see that, and they’re just extending that love to his family in myself, so it’s an honor that I get to share the same love that people have for him.” 

Mr. Ali Walsh is known for his unsophisticated style in the sport, and his hunger to win. SugarHill Steward, one of his trainers, says of Mr. Ali Walsh: “realistically, he’s like a beginner, not even a polished amateur… I see improvement. He’s smart. He can fight.” 

Nico Ali Walsh agrees that he is just at the beginning of his boxing journey. “I’m looking to use my jab more. I’m looking to improve my defense and to improve my footwork. There’s a million things to improve on. I don’t care how great of a fighter someone is. You can always improve. And I think you’ll see that Saturday, just improvement.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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