Nico Ali Walsh moves on from competition, still intent on ‘keeping the legacy alive’

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Nico Ali Walsh may not float like a butterfly like his famous grandfather, but he is showing evidence, with five knockouts in eight bouts, that he can sting like a bee.

Ali Walsh turns professional on August 14, 2021, but it was unclear what his goal was other than to pay tribute to his late grandfather, “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali. Ali Walsh had no amateur background and neither promoters nor managers were knocking on his door begging to sign him.

As he nears his two-year anniversary as a pro, things certainly changed when he fights Danny Rosenberger at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on the pay-per-view portion of the Devin Haney-Vasily Lomachenko undercard. Are. He's 8-0, and while it's clear that he adores his great-grandfather and wants to honor him in everything he does, it's equally clear that Ali Walsh now considers himself a full-time . sees as

He dreams of winning a world championship as a way to continue the legacy, but he also insists that this is not a dream but a legitimate possibility.

“I'm more than happy to be where I am at the moment,” Ali Walsh told Yahoo . “I've already shocked everyone by going this far. I'll continue to shock people, but I'll be honest: I've shocked myself.

“I knew what I was capable of. I knew I had the work ethic to be a champion. Still, it's great to be where I am.”

Now sprinkle a little rain on this parade just for a moment. Nine fights into his career, Muhammad Ali was clearly an elite professional who just needed seasoning. He was an Olympic gold medalist and had an extensive amateur background. With the speed and reflexes of a middleweight, the power of a heavyweight, and the will and courage of a great man, he may be the most physically gifted heavyweight ever.

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There is considerable doubt about Ali Walsh's ability to handle high level opposition. Rosenberger is 13-9-4, has won seven straight matches and is Ali Walsh's best opponent to date. No one is predicting in Rosenberger's mind that he will win a championship or even contend for one, but he is experienced and will test younger fighters when needed.

Ali Walsh, who has a tattoo of his grandfather on his right arm, understands this. He is a bright and charming kid who has handled his sudden fame with confidence. If you named three of the friendliest, nicest men in boxing, he would definitely make the list.

He can't leave the house, he said, without being surrounded by fans who recognize him as the grandson of one of the greatest boxers ever, one of the greatest ever.

Nico Ali Walsh is happy with his progress since turning professional and says his fight with Danny Rosenberger on Saturday is a step in the right direction on his way to a world title. (Mickey Williams / Getty Images)

He said that after signing with Top Rank, promoter Bob Arum warned him of the pressure he would face, and that he did not understand it. But as he has matured and progressed in the boxing business, he now gets it.

He said, “I am very surprised that my life has changed so much in just one and a half years.” “I don't leave my house — with braids — and not be recognized. It happens every single time, especially when I'm in any kind of athletic arena. Like if I'm at the gym, wow. If I'm , I'm in a protein house, it's just crazy. But I'm not going to say my dreams because of what it would do with my life.

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The more successful he is, and the closer he is to a championship, the higher he will rise. He knows that every interview he does will involve his grandfather in one way or another. He is always going to be in limelight.

But now he wants to wear that belt around his waist like many of his peers do, and he has left no stone unturned to get it. He said he got himself in the best shape possible in preparation for Rosenberger.

“The shape I'm in right now, if I was facing Canelo [Alvarez] On the 20th, I'll feel confident [even though] I will lose,” Ali Walsh said. “I will lose but I still feel confident because of the work I've done and the improvements I've made.”