(CNN) – The continuation of a legacy. This is how Nico Ali Walsh, Muhammad Ali’s grandson, described his professional boxing debut on Saturday.
Wearing a pair of his grandfather’s white briefs, the 21-year-old Walsh won his middleweight fight against Jordan Weeks at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa, Oklahoma.
“I am blessed and honored to say that I continued with the story,” Walsh wrote on Instagram.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who supported me! I took my grandfather into the ring with me wearing his shorts for the first and last time as a professional boxer. I am beyond proud to say: The legacy continues.”
Known as “The Greatest,” Ali, a three-time heavyweight champion, died in June 2016 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
He had nine children, including his daughter Laila, who, like her father, became a world boxing champion.
“I could never escape my grandfather, no matter what sport he competed in,” Walsh, who is the son of Ali’s daughter Rasheda, recently told The New York Times.
“I’m starting to accept it. It’s very difficult, but you have to accept the legacy, no matter what it is. Everyone becomes stronger when they accept what they are destined to do.”
Walsh is a Top Rank boxer, led by Bob Arum, who founded the company in 1966 when he began promoting Ali.
“What a magical night for this young man,” Arum tweeted after Walsh’s win. “Your grandfather would have been very proud of the way he honors him in his own way.
“We at Top Rank are eager to guide you on your professional journey.”
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