When you were Muhammad Ali’s grandson, they came out to find you. In sparring, in competition, boxers want to make a point when they lay the gloves on you.
Nico Ali Walsh is not ridiculed as a fighter simply because his grandfather was the legendary Muhammad Ali. Recently.
“My first sparring match I was beaten because they knew who I was. I never said who I was,” Ali Walsh told Ali Walsh. Sky Sports.
“Everybody wants to knock Ali out, so I felt like I said, the first time I ever entered the boxing ring, I felt that way, so I’m used to it at this point.
“Everybody that I’ve faced especially in the professional ring, I’ve been facing the best version of himself, every opponent I’ve ever had, I’ve seen his tapes before the fight and I’m watching his tapes after the fight. I’m like this is their best feature.
“It’s like that all the time, they’re just preparing because they want to be able to beat Ali, I guess. So I prepared for that and it’s funny how that works. But I prepared.”
He never let that get him down. “When I first entered boxing I was already facing this pressure. I already had this difficult road, I would say. So I never saw what the easy road was,” said Ali Walsh.
“I’ve never had this easy road, I’ve never had it in the gym where people go easy on me because of my grandfather. They always go hard. So I’ve had this hard road all the time. I think that made me stronger.”
He expects that when he fights Billy Wagner on the Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Jamaine Ortiz undercard at Madison Square Garden, live on. Sky Sports on Sunday morning.
Ali Walsh warned “I believe anyone has the potential to be dangerous but at the level I’m working in training – nobody I’m fighting now can handle what I’m training.”
“I believe that how you train is how you fight. I’m training Mike Tyson right now. I’m going to need that level of aggression on fight night and if I don’t see it, it’s going to be scary. Easy night.”
His legacy undoubtedly brings opportunities and prestige. His grandfather’s legacy is something Ali Walsh thinks deeply about. He also learned to embrace her.
“It’s important to me. No one will understand what it means to me. It’s important such a legacy,” he said.
“A lot of people mention the distractions and the things that help them, for me it’s the opposite. I think about the legacy and that motivates me. I think about the extra pressure of course. All the pressure, everything that comes with the legacy , expectations, all this, it really motivates me and lights a fire in me, when I don’t think about it, I feel like I don’t have a guide, this is my guide in boxing, this is my light that I will aim for. so really it gives me more confidence.
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“Since I started I’ve worked really hard to just embrace the name, the legacy and everything that comes with it. I need to keep doing that because I’ve tried to run away from it before and it didn’t work. . You cannot run away from what you are destined to do.”
In his own way, Ali Walsh wants to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. He boxed in Atlanta, where the legendary Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic flame. This weekend he returned to Madison Square Garden, where Ali began his epic with Joe Frazier. He wants his boxing journey to take him to Britain in the near future.
“Of course you will see me fighting in Great Britain and I want to say soon, hopefully it will be next year. It should be. Because Great Britain is very important to my grandfather,” he said. “I want to recreate history in a way.
“I wouldn’t be able to follow him if I didn’t fight in the UK,” he said. “Everyone in the world knows this – the UK has the best boxing fans in the world so I’d love to feel that energy.”
Nico Ali Walsh boxes on the Vasily Lomachenko vs Jamaine Ortiz card, live on Sky Sports at 1am on Sunday.