Nico Ali Walsh made a successful pro debut on 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 finally stopped at 1:49 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.”
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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 footsteps into boxing.
Still, Ali Walsh looked competent for a relative novice and displayed good hand speed and power against Weeks, an MMA fighter he had stopped in his last boxing match.
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Ali Walsh celebrated with family members in the ring afterwards with 89-year-old promoter Bob Arum, who promoted 27 of Muhammad Ali's fights.
“I’m a believer in genes,” Arum said.
Ali Walsh said the white trunks with black lining was made for his grandfather, who gave them to him.
“I’m never wearing these trunks again,” he said.