“It Was Just Him And My Family”: Reliving Sweet Memory From His Amateur Days, Muhammad Ali’s Grandson Details How Mike Tyson Supported Him When “Nobody Cared” (Exclusive)

Published 01/07/2024, 12:59 PM EST

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“A different breed of person. He’s not like us,” noted an emotional Mike Tyson to Michael Rapaport in 2019 describing ‘the Greatest’, Muhammad Ali. It is well-recorded that both the heavyweight titans of their times were tight, so much so that Tyson regarded Ali as a huge inspiration to his boxing career. So, when the time came to be by Ali’s family, especially after his death, Tyson rose to the occasion.

Multiple anecdotes establish the close association Tyson and the late Ali maintained. However, their rapport did not end with Ali’s demise. It further blossomed when Tyson actively supported Ali’s grandchildren’s fighting career. On the latest episode of Essentially Sports’ Fancast, Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Ali enlightened the host, Kenny Ducey on how instrumental Tyson was in his formative career.

Nico Ali Walsh explains the support Mike Tyson rendered


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Ducey asked Ali Walsh about the support he received from multiple boxing personalities in his amateur days. However, the 23-year-old maintained that it was only Mike Tyson who stood by him during times when Walsh was hardly known. Speaking exclusively to Essentially Sports, the middleweight fighter noted, “But Mike Tyson followed me back when nobody cared about me back in the amateurs. Like he went to my third-ever amateur fight when I was like 15 or something…he showed up and it was just him and my family in the seats. Like we had a small little video of it there were empty seats everywhere.”


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Earlier, he also pressed on how important it was to him that Tyson did not just jump onto his career when he turned pro. Rather, he was there by him, supporting him throughout even in his early days, when he was hardly making headlines. In the interview, he further acknowledged, “No one cared, you know? I was just an amateur fighter but Mike Tyson showed up and so, I appreciate that so much and I have so much respect for him and his wife.”

It was not just Nico who was of all praises about Mike Tyson and the support he offered to the family. His mother, and Ali’s daughter, Rasheda Ali too detailed the Ali clan’s close relationship with the hard-hitting heavyweight, Tyson.

“I have known Mike since High School. So I have known Mike for a long time and he has been in my father’s life. They are good friends. He has always been supportive of our family.” “He stayed in contact with my dad. And when we moved to Las Vegas, we reconnected again with Mike,” she added in the exclusive conversation with Essentially Sports.


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Rasheda elucidated how influential Mike has been on her kids, Nico and Biaggio, both of whom are rising names in the combat world. She said, “He became kind of a role model and an inspiration to my kids who are clearly boxers but it’s been kind of a huge honor for someone like Mike who’s gone through so much with his in his life to be able to embrace the boys and in their careers.”

Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson laid the foundation of their bond early in the day. Years later, when Ali no more lives to tell the tale, Tyson continues to keep their camaraderie alive through the relationship he has with Ali’s family. Nico’s revelation on Essentially Sports’ exclusive interview reiterates that.


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What do you think of Mike Tyson’s contribution to the Ali clan since the passing of the Greatest? Let us know in the comments section below.

Watch This Story: Top 5 Fan Favorite Boxers of All Time: Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, and More


Written by:

Mohammed Shafiulla


One take at a time

As Manny Pacquiao once said, “Boxing is not about your feelings. It’s about performance.” Through my writing, I hope to bring this performance closer to boxing fans.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal