Muhammad Ali’s grandson Nico Ali Walsh scores TKO victory in opposition to Jordan Weeks in his skilled boxing debut

11:54 p.m. ET

  • Mike CoppingerESPN

TULSA, Oklahoma – Muhammad Ali’s grandson Nico Ali Walsh made his professional boxing debut with a first-round TKO from the Jordan Weeks on Saturday night in white and black pants his grandfather had given him.

Ali Walsh, 21, showed the kind of flair Ali would surely be proud of, whipping the crowd at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino into a frenzy with his right hand as the umpire counted 10 after the knockdown. The middleweight followed with a barrage of punches, bloody Weeks’ face before the umpire stopped the disparity.

“I think he and I made some history tonight,” said Ali Walsh, who is coached by SugarHill Steward, the same man who runs heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

“That fully met my expectations,” he added. “It’s been an emotional journey. … Obviously my grandfather, I’ve thought about him so much. I miss him.”

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“The Greatest” died in June 2016, shortly before Ali Walsh’s 16th birthday. Ali Walsh grew up in Las Vegas and began an amateur boxing career hoping to follow in the footsteps of the legendary heavyweight champion. Ali Walsh was allowed to tee off against Weeks.

Weeks, 29, of Lexington, South Carolina, came from a fourth-round TKO to a 1-6-1 fighter.

For Ali Walsh, who competes in the middleweight division, as a young boxer it will obviously be a work in progress that learns on the job. And no one can develop such fighters better than Bob Arum’s Top Rank, the same promoter who once directed Ali.

“Play it by ear, step by step, watch it develop, and bring it along as soon as you can,” top-ranked matchmaker Bruce Trampler told ESPN. The Hall of Famer began working with Ali in the 1980s.

“I saw him at the gym every day for a month. He learns. He hasn’t fought in over two years. SugarHill was out with Fury and a few other fighters. … It’s about building a relationship between the coach and fighter and you can imagine the pressure on the fighter tonight. It was fun and he’s a great kid. “

No matter who Ali Walsh is fighting or what level he is reaching, one thing is clear: people will watch his rise. His bloodline guarantees it.

“There seems to be a lot of pressure; for me it’s just my grandfather,” said Ali Walsh. “He’s the greatest fighter who ever lived – maybe the greatest person. … I’ll never wear these swimming trunks again. “

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