Ahead of his pro-boxing debut, Nico Ali Walsh recently opened up about his journey in the pugilistic arts and how he was a step away from giving it all up for good.
"Yeah I would definitely not be boxing if I didn't get his [Muhammad Ali's] blessings ,so to speak. I asked him if I should be boxing. Because you know, at that time, I wanted to quit boxing. It was getting a little tough. I was like 14" Nico Ali Walsh told TMZ Sports.
Nico Ali Walsh has enjoyed sporadic success across his amateur career, perhaps bolstering his desire to part ways with the sweet science. However, his grandfather 'Poppy' was always clear that the results of his amateur career don't have any bearing on his professional career.
Watch Nico Ali Walsh's interview with TMZ Sports below:
Muhammad Ali ushered Nico Ali Walsh into his pro-boxing career
While talking about the time he contemplated hanging his gloves up for good, Nico Ali Walsh admitted that it was his grandfather, Muhammad Ali, who brought him back from the abyss.
"But he didn't let me quit. He kept pushing me to continue, continue, continue. I kept wanting him to tell me to quit so I could. But he didn't let me" declared Nico Ali Walsh.
Walsh was very open about the role that 'Poppy' played in his career and that it is because of him that he's still in the game. After all, the name 'Ali' has a tremendous amount of weight in pugilistic circles.
Nico Ali Walsh squared off against Jordan Weeks in a middleweight bout for his pro-boxing debut. The fight took place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While the bout was scheduled to be a four-round affair, Ali Walsh dispatched Jordan Weeks with a TKO victory in round one.
Bob Arum, who promoted some of Muhammad Ali's biggest fights back in his prime, brought Nico Ali Walsh under the Top Rank Boxing banner ahead of his pro-boxing debut.
Although the legacy of the Ali name may weigh heavy on the shoulders of the young up-and-comer, he will hope to hit the ground running. While he has already revealed that he will be fighting for himself and not for his name or fame, it is doubtful that the same won't be playing on his mind.