Muhammad Ali's grandson Nico claims he has target on back for being related to legend and says 'it's blessing and curse'

MUHAMMAD ALI'S grandson Nico Ali Walsh has revealed it's a 'blessing and a curse' being related to the boxing legend ahead of his professional debut.

The 20-year-old is gearing up for his first bout in the paid ranks on August 14 after signing a deal with Top Rank last month.


Walsh, who is the son of Ali's daughter Rasheda Ali Walsh, is trained by Tyson Fury's mentor SugarHill Steward.

And the cruiserweight prospect has declared that he has a target on his back going into the professional game due to being related to the boxing legend.

Speaking to MyBettingSites ahead of his debut, he said: "Everyone wants to knockout Muhammad Ali’s grandson. I would never tell anyone who I was but they’d always find out.

"And when they did, they’d always try to knock me out or hurt me because they wanted to be able to say: ‘hey, I hurt Muhammad Ali’s grandson, I knocked out Muhammad Ali’s grandson’.

"I say being Muhammad Ali’s grandson is a blessing and a curse and that falls under the curse category."

Before adding: "I’ll definitely have a target on my back as a professional but where I'm at now mentally, I'm able to handle the pressures.

"And I'm grateful for that, because this all started back when I was 10 when I first put on a pair of gloves." 

Walsh also discussed what key piece of advice Ali gave him in his quest to become a world champion.

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He remarked: "The biggest piece of advice that I remember the most, he said: ‘moving and dancing makes a fighter’.

"Moving and dancing isn’t something a lot of fighters do nowadays; hitting and not getting hit. He did that very well and that’s what I want to emulate the most.

"But I don’t want to be the same exact fighter he was – I don’t believe there is a way even I wanted to be – he is one of a kind. 

"I’m more similar to him outside of the ring. We have the same kind of sense of humour, telling stupid jokes.

"He was huge on magic tricks and I'm huge on magic tricks, so we’re similar in that sense. Inside the ring I'd say we have the same work ethic. His work ethic was outstanding. I emulate that." 

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