Previously compelled to fight due to his lineage, Muhammad Ali’s grandson is now an MMA fighter.
NEW YORK: Biaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of “The Greatest”, reports he used to only consider fighting when others sought to test his ability due to his famous heritage.
Muhammad Ali, an iconic figure in boxing history, had two grandchildren in Biaggio and Nico. When their fellow Las Vegas residents learned of their connection to Ali, they were often challenged to fights.
“People would find out who Nico and I were related to and they’d say, ‘Oh, can you fight?” Ali Walsh recalled. “And I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’”
However, these days, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.
Ali Walsh now eagerly anticipates fight opportunities and is set to engage in his next bout on a Professional Fighters League card at a Madison Square Garden event this Wednesday.
At this stage of his MMA career, Ali Walsh will be competing in the same arena where his grandfather had his most iconic matches. This marked the second occasion where Muhammad Ali’s grandson took part in a match at this historical arena.
Ali Walsh made his PFL debut at Madison Square Garden not just challenged by his opponent but also by the weight of history and the grand venue.
“I was incredibly nervous but I managed to stay calm and get my job done – that’s how I aim to be in every fight,” Ali Walsh noted.
With a current record of 4-1, Ali Walsh still fights at the amateur level as he continues to build his career following a relatively late start.
Nearly twenty-five years old, he lacks his grandfather’s early boxing experience. Muhammad Ali began boxing at 12 and secured a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome aged just 18.
Ali Walsh’s journey to MMA was unexpected. He was a running back at the influential Bishop Gorman High School and later transferred to UNLV to play for his high school coach.
During his training at the end of his football career, he began helping the athletes he was working with as a strength and conditioning coach, something that inspired him to pursue an MMA career.
With zero wrestling experience, Ali Walsh had to learn all aspects of MMA. His grandfather’s Parkinson’s disease unfortunately meant Ali couldn’t share his skills with him.
However, Ali Walsh was able to learn from his grandfather’s old footage. Ali Walsh, who has had a series of first-round knockouts, studies how Muhammad Ali used his jabs to set up his right hand.
Although he admits he’s got a long way to go before he can compete with PFL pros, he’s proud of how far he’s come since losing his debut fight in June 2022 due to intense anxiety.
He has come leaps and bounds from being the teenager who was nervous about boxing matches with older kids.
“That guy wouldn’t stop mocking me, insisting we box. I was fairly intimidated,” Ali Walsh disclosed. “But once I started fighting, I actually had a lot of fun!”
Currently, Ali Walsh takes pleasure in his fights, believing that he improves with each bout. Given their successful boxing careers, it’s unlikely that any of the people who used to challenge Muhammad Ali’s grandsons would dare to do so now.
“No one would dare now,” Ali Walsh confirmed.