After promoting Muhammad Ali, Bob Arum inks grandson of “The Greatest”
Hall of Famer promoter Bob Arum has continued his legacy with the family of Muhammad Ali by signing three-time heavyweight champion’s 20-year-old grandson.
Nico Ali Walsh has signed a multi-fight promotional pact with Top Rank and will turn pro in a four-round middleweight bout Saturday, Aug. 14, live on ESPN.
Ali Walsh is the son of retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Robert Walsh and Rasheda Ali Walsh, Muhammad Ali’s daughter, and a noted public speaker who uses her platform to raise money for Parkinson’s research.
“I’m doing what I love,” Ali Walsh said. “Signing with Top Rank is a dream come true. I’m going to have fun on Aug. 14, and the next time I fight.
“Top Rank will give me the name, date, and location, and I’ll have a great time. I am honored to continue the fighting legacy that my grandfather started. It is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.”
Ali Walsh, born on Chicago’s South Side and now resides in Las Vegas, had roughly 30 amateur fights.
As a young child in Chicago, he made his amateur debut at a benefit for St. Baldrick’s Foundation and broke out the Ali Shuffle.
Ali Walsh graduated from Bishop Gorman High School in 2018 and is currently a full-time student at UNLV, where he is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business next spring.
He’ll be juggling classes and fighting as he embarks on his pro career under the guidance of Bob Arum, who promoted 27 of his grandfather’s fights, including the epic “Thrilla in Manila” bout against Joe Frazier and the rubber match against Ken Norton at Yankee Stadium.
Ali Walsh’s uncle, Mike Joyce, brokered the deal with Top Rank and will serve as his nephew’s manager, agent, and attorney.
“Family history and legacy was a big factor in Nico signing with Top Rank,” Joyce said. “I’ve signed many fighters to Top Rank, and Bob has always treated them fairly.
“Nico was a little bit in awe of Bob, and it cemented his belief that he was with the right promoter. He thinks this is going to be a historic journey.”