Muhammad Ali's grandson, Nico Ali Walsh, just won his first professional boxing match. The 21-year-old boxer described his win as continuing his grandfather's legacy.
Walsh won his professional debut against Jordan Weeks in a middleweight fight held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa, Oklahoma. Walsh entered the ring wearing his grandfather's iconic white trunks.
The fight was over just after one round. Walsh knocked down Weeks midway through the first round. The referee ended the fight after Weeks could no longer answer Walsh's barrage of punches to his head.
Both are first-timers in the professional boxing ring. However, Weeks has had some professional mixed martial arts background. Analysts said Walsh looked very competent in the ring for a novice fighter. Commentators during the fight said he had displayed good hand speed and power throughout the round.
After the fight, Walsh said he was honored and blessed to be continuing his grandfather's history and legacy. He said he brought his grandfather with him in the ring by wearing his shorts for the "first and final time."
Ali, who had died in June 2016 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, had nine children. His daughter, Laila, also became a world champion boxer.
Walsh, the son of Ali's daughter Rasheda, previously stated that he could never escape his grandfather's legacy. He said that instead of fighting it, he has now chosen to embrace it. He added that choosing to believe he is destined to be in the ring has made him stronger.
Walsh celebrated his win with family members who were present at the fight. His promoter, Bob Arum, was also present. The 89-year-old promoter was also involved in promoting 27 of Muhammad Ali's professional fights. During an interview after the fight, Arum said Walsh had his grandfather's genes when fighting in the ring.
In a post published on social media after the fight, Arum said his company Top Rank is looking forward to Walsh's professional journey. He added that his grandfather would be so proud of what he has achieved and of how he had honored him in his own way.