PFL: Biaggio Ali Walsh Looking to Gain Experience, “Whenever I’m Ready to Turn Pro, I’ll Turn Pro”


Las Vegas, NV — The PFL introduced fight fans to an amateur with a very familiar last name earlier this year: Biaggio Ali Walsh.

Yes, Ali Walsh is the grandson of the legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali, considered by many to be the greatest boxer of all time. Not to mention the nephew of another Hall of Fame boxer, Laila Ali.

Boxing runs in the family; brother Nico Ali Walsh also took up the sport. However, this Ali grandson is going in a different direction, having embarked on a career in MMA earlier this year and posting a 2-1 record as an amateur.

An appearance at PFL 10 in November was his highest-profile match-up to date. Ali Walsh shared the card with some big, big names including Kayla Harrison, Brendan Loughnane, and former UFC fighter Olivier Aubin-Mercier.

From the sounds of it, he was in a good place ahead of that bout. “Leading up to the fight I was doing a lot of meditating, a lot of visualizing, a lot of praying,” Ali Walsh told Cageside Press at the 14th Annual World MMA Awards. “When I got my hand raised, it was almost like I’d been there a thousand times.”

“I was super-grateful and blessed for the result, but at the same time I almost felt like I was there, I kind of new that was going to happen.”

Growing up, Blaggio became aware of his grandfather’s fame, though the enormity of the legend wasn’t something he grasped until later in life.

“I did a project on him when I was in third grade. Doing that kind of project, I got to learn a lot more about his life, what he did outside of boxing. I think as a kid, I started to kind of see ‘oh wow, my grandfather’s bigger than I thought he was,'” Ali Walsh recalled. “Every time we went to the movies, every time we went to a restaurant, people would kind of stop what they were doing and start clapping. And I’d never seen that before. I think when I was young I knew, but when you’re young you can’t really comprehend how much of an impact he really made. So I think as I got older and older, I really realized.”

Despite the family ties, there was no pressure from his parents to go into boxing, rather than MMA or any other sport.

“I’m super-grateful to have the parents that I have, they’re very supportive. They supported me in all the sports I played.” That’s everything from flag football to basketball, he added — “I was terrible at basketball, but they were still supportive.” In high school, Ali Walsh “caught the itch” for football, “and did pretty well there.” While he didn’t have the same opportunity to pursue football in college, his parents stayed supportive when he transitioned to MMA.

As to what comes next in the young fighter’s career, “I just want to see win after win after win,” said Ali Walsh. “I’m an amateur still, so I’m looking to get that experience. That last fight it was great experience, but it’s in the past now, so the train has to keep going.” Ali is hoping to fight again in March. “I think that would be a great ballpark to fight. I’m looking to win, get that experience as an amateur, and whenever I’m ready to turn pro, I’ll turn pro.”

Watch our full interview with Biaggio Ali Walsh above.


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