Posted on 10/23/2021
By: Hans Themistode
There will always be an absurd amount of pressure heaped onto the shoulders of Nico Ali Walsh. As the grandson of the late great Muhammad Ali, the expectations and presumptions will continue to rise.
For one night, however, Walsh did just fine adjusting to the bright lights.
Serving as the opening bout to WBO super featherweight titlist Jamel Herring vs. mandatory challenger Shakur Stevenson at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Walsh smiled as the crowd erupted while he made his way to the ring. Once the opening bell rang, the undefeated middleweight prospect immediately turned deadly serious.
James Westley II appeared hesitant in the opening round, he pushed out a slow and lethargic jab in an attempt to gauge the range of Walsh. The 21-year-old merely bounced on his toes and swiftly maneuvered out of Westley’s line of fire.
When the time was right, which occurred within just a few seconds of the opening frame, Walsh unloaded with a barrage of winging right hooks. Once they found their mark, Walsh refused to rush in, instead, he pumped out a consistent jab that repeatedly snapped back the head of his man.
Westley may have done just enough to escape the round but Walsh wouldn’t let him off the hook in the following frame. The crowd roared and jumped to its feet as Walsh scored a knockdown in the second round. Walsh would pick up his aggression in the third, landing another deleterious right hand that saw Westley hit the deck.
While he managed to crawl back to his feet, Walsh poured it on. Westley, to his credit, appeared game, but his corner, on the other hand, was none too pleased with what was taking place and subsequently called a halt to their contest altogether.