Saturday, July 20, 2024

Nico Ali Walsh: Muhammad Ali’s grandson ready to avenge only pro loss in Sona Akale rematch -Dlight News

Nico Ali Walsh hopes to take inspiration from his late grandfather Muhammad Ali to guide him to a redemption victory over Sona Akale this weekend, live on Sky Sports.

Ali Walsh suffered his first professional loss when Akale beat him by majority decision last summer in a close contest, with the two now clashing again on the undercard of Teofimo Lopez’s WBO super-lightweight title showdown with Steve Claggett.

The 23-year-old has won his two fights since that defeat and now wants to emulate his grandfather – who famously defeated Joe Fraizer after losing the initial bout – in bouncing back from a loss to win the rematch.

TULSA, OKLAHOMA - AUGUST 26: Nico Ali Walsh (L) and Sona Akale (R) exchange punches during their middleweight fight at Hard Rock Live on August 26, 2023 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Nico Ali Walsh (L) and Sona Akale (R) exchange punches during last August’s close contest

“Of course I look towards my grandfather, my idol, my hero, but I’m also looking at myself,” Ali Walsh told Sky Sports. “I know what I do with my rematch and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’m not a very revengeful person – I feel like redemption is a better suited word for this fight because it’s nothing personal. I don’t have any problem with him, it’s just that he’s getting caught in the crosshair between me and what I’m chasing.

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“He didn’t need to say yes [to the rematch], so I have respect for him and his team. He has got balls to just say yes, because people don’t have to do that and you see that a lot in boxing nowadays.”

Two of the three judges scored the original clash 58-56 in favour of Akale, with the other marking it a 57-57 draw, with Ali Walsh believing he did enough to win the contest.

“I’ve seen the fight a few times and I felt like I landed the cleaner shots, I hurt him, but he was more active,” Ali Walsh said. “I feel like that maybe could have swayed the judges.

“Even though his punches weren’t landing as frequently as mine or as clean as mine, he was busier and it looked that way.

“I’m not one to complain at all. I don’t take losses hard. When it happened, I see every loss as like a setup for a comeback, so I’m happy that it happened and I’m glad I’m where I’m at right now.”

The main event sees Lopez look defend his WBO super-lightweight title, having ripped the belt from Scotland’s Josh Taylor with a masterful points win last June and claiming a unanimous decision victory over Jamaine Ortiz in February.

Canadian challenger Claggett has rejuvenated his rollercoaster career in recent years and a string of victories since 2021 has earned him a world title shot at Lopez. Watch live on Sunday from 2am on Sky Sports Action or stream with NOW.

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