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Descendants of two boxing legends will fight on the same undercard on October 23 in Las Vegas for Jamel Herring’s super-featherweight title fight with Shakur Stevenson.
Muhammad Ali’s grandson, Nico Ali Walsh, made his professional debut last month with a win, while Evander Holyfield’s son, Evan, has won all seven of his fights since debuting in 2019.
Ali Walsh is set to face Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan, who is also undefeated; Holyfield’s opponent is yet to be confirmed. The two ‘next-gen’ fighters currently fight at different weight classes (160 lb middleweight for Ali Walsh, and 154 lb super-welterweight for Holyfield), but could certainly meet in the ring one day as their careers develop and weights change.
Ali Walsh has been making sure to acknowledge his mythical grandfather in his pressers since turning professional. He even wears Ali’s signature white trunks in the ring.
“It was powerful. I tried them on one time, the day of the weigh-in, I moved around in them, and they looked nice and felt nice,” Ali Walsh said.
“I felt ready to rock. But then I really got the feeling for them in the dressing room before the fight. I put them on, and it was like, ‘Uh oh, now it’s on.’ It was like putting knight’s armor on.”
Ali Walsh also revealed his grandfather’s “surprising” approval when he told him he intended to follow his career path.
“I wanted to get pushback from him, but he didn’t give it to me,” Ali Walsh said. “All he did was encourage me. Every time I asked him, not wanting him to encourage me, I was hoping he would say, ‘You know what, Nico. You’re smart, don’t go into boxing.’ If he would have said that, I wouldn’t have gone into boxing.”
Cover photo via Getty Images.