LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UNLV senior Nico Ali Walsh's love for boxing can be traced back to a young age. In fact, it was inspired by the greatest fighter of all time — his grandfather, Muhammad Ali.
"This boxing journey is so important to me. Definitely for building my own legacy, but a lot for continuing my grandfather's legacy,” Ali Walsh said.
Ali Walsh, who turned pro this year, is set to make his boxing debut on Saturday at Madison Square Garden — the same venue that once saw so many memorable Muhammad Ali fights.
WATCH: @NicoAliX74 is living up to the family name, following in the footsteps of the greatest fighter of all time - his grandfather, Muhammad Ali. Nico is set to make his debut inside @TheGarden on Saturday. The “Ali” name will once again be announced inside the Mecca. pic.twitter.com/suyjpfDMxg
— Tina Nguyen (@ttinanguyen) December 10, 2021
"The fact that I get to walk around the same grounds that he and Joe Frazier and so many others have is awesome," Ali Walsh said. “I know that he loved New York because he had so many fights here. I think boxers in general, no matter where they're from, they know that if you're fighting in Madison Square Garden, then, like, you've made it.”
Ali Walsh, who currently owns a 2-0 record, will continue to carve out his legacy in the boxing world on ESPN when he faces Xander Zayas.
“I would just say I'm an aggressive fighter, and I just try to use that forward aggression in a fight to win fights and to knockouts," Ali Walsh said.
Despite not floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee just yet, the 21-year-old Las Vegas resident looks to continue a family legacy that’s been profound outside of the ring.
“I think he's the greatest fighter of all time — I think everyone knows that — but he's debatable at being one of the greatest humans, because he was just such a great person," Ali Walsh said of his grandfather. "So, that's the legacy I'm looking to leave. At the end of the day, what's most important to me is impacting lives in a positive way, exactly the way he did. If I could do that, in any way, I'd be happy."