No one disputes that boxing is hard, really hard. For Nico Ali Walsh, living up to his grandfather’s name might be even harder.
He was, after all, The Greatest.
“To the world, it may be continuing the legacy of the greatest fighter that ever lived but I don’t see it that way,” Ali Walsh said. “I see it as continuing the legacy of my grandfather.”
The grandfather, if you haven’t figured it out already, is Muhammad Ali. And the grandson is about to set off a journey bordering on the impossible – making a name for himself in the ring while carrying the name of his legendary grandfather.
See also: Tokyo 2020: Burkina Faso claims first-ever Olympic medal
The 21-year-old fights for the first time as a pro-Saturday night in a scheduled four-round middleweight bout in Oklahoma. He’ll do it on national television, not because of anything he’s done in boxing but because he descends from greatness.
Ali Walsh himself understands he’s getting a chance because of his name. But the college student fought as an amateur and believes he has the skills to be a top fighter.
See also: Peruth Chemutai became the first Ugandan woman ever to win an Olympic medal
And while he doesn’t have the bombastic charisma of his grandfather, he’s an engaging young man in his own right.
“I’m going out to continue my family legacy,” Ali Walsh said. “I’m going out to make my own (legacy).”