Muhammad Ali's Grandson Grew Up To Be Gorgeous

The world lost a sports icon in June 2016 when legendary boxer Muhammad Ali died from septic shock following a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Today, his legacy lives on through his talented family tree. Fans of the heavyweight champion are likely most familiar with his daughter Laila Ali, who became a legend in her own right when she dominated her dad's sport, eventually retiring with an undefeated 24-0 record, according to Biography

In the span of just a short few years, however, Muhammad's grandson has emerged as the newest star of the famous family. He's already made headlines for his incredible athletic skill and equally impressive genetic looks, but don't thing you're going to see him floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee in a boxing ring any time soon.  

Get to know rising-star Biaggio Ali-Walsh, born Sept. 4, 1998, a name you're likely hear more of in the years to come.

Muhammad Ali's grandson traded boxing gloves for the grid iron

As Muhammad Ali's grandson, no one should be surprised to hear that Biaggio Ali-Walsh was born a natural athlete. However, he chose to pursue football over boxing, climbing the ranks at his Las Vegas high school before joining the University of California, Berkeley's roster in 2017. After struggling there with his performance and some injuries (per Bear Territory), Ali-Walsh transferred to the University of Nevada Las Vegas in August 2019, where he joined the Rebels as a running back.

So, how did the grandson of a boxing great come to choose the gridiron over the ring? Ali-Walsh told Sports Illustrated in January 2017, "All my friends were playing flag [football], and I got into flag, and it was fun. In seventh grade, I tried out tackle for the first time, and I didn't play that much. Eighth grade, I took a year off. But freshman year came around, and in high school I wanted to start it up again, and I guess it worked out from there." But don't think his famous grandfather wasn't proud. 

Speaking with CBS KPIX 5, Ali-Walsh said Ali was a fan of the sport and would FaceTime him ahead of big games. He even attended a game during Ali-Walsh's sophomore year and got to witness the high school star complete an impressive "92-yard run."

Muhammad Ali's grandson has no love for the gloves

Boxing just wasn't in the cards for Biaggio Ali-Walsh, who admitted to Sports Illustrated that he never took to the sport as a kid. 

"Me and my brother would train in boxing when we were really young with our uncle, and Nico found a passion for it," he said. "But I didn't feel what he felt. I was 9, Nico was 7 or 8." He told Bleacher Report, "I feel like boxing isn't in my type, because I like a team sport. I like [to] have the links to a chain [to] build up a team."

No, Biaggio Ali-Walsh wasn't named after a casino

Biaggio Ali-Walsh is the son of the Muhammad Ali's daughter, author Rasheda Ali-Walsh (above), and her husband, chef Bob Walsh. According to Sports Illustrated, Ali-Walsh got his first name, "Biaggio," from his Sicilian-born great-grandfather on his dad's side. "It's a very Italian name," he told the magazine. "Sometimes it gets mispronounced. Often, actually. They say Bellagio, like the hotel."

Given the fact that he grew up in Las Vegas, that had to be annoying.

His classmates didn't know they went to school with Muhammad Ali's grandson

Growing up with "The Greatest" in your family tree can be both a blessing and a curse, so it makes sense that Biaggio Ali-Walsh wasn't shouting his family's legacy from the rooftops when was just a little kid.

"Back then, it was a huge secret who our grandfather was," Ali-Walsh told ESPN. "If we liked you enough, we would tell you. But we kept it a secret, because we didn't want people to be me and Nico's friends just because of who we were related to."

That changed in 2007, when Muhammad Ali made a surprise visit to one of Ali-Walsh's fourth-grade basketball games. "Everybody just stopped what they were doing and looked," Ali-Walsh told ESPN. "The ref was like–'what the ...?'"

World's Greatest Grandpa...literally

Biaggio Ali-Walsh enjoyed a "great" relationship with his grandfather, telling Sports Illustrated of fond memories he had with him, particularly during family gatherings on Thanksgiving. "He loved magic tricks," Ali-Walsh also shared. "So Nico would bring his magic kit, and we would show him cool tricks. He loved it."

"Growing up, being around him, he was a grandfather," Ali-Walsh told ESPN. "But to the public, he was an icon. ... And then we'd go over on Thanksgiving and see him in person. This is the guy I was just watching on YouTube! That was crazy–I'd trip out like that."

Ali-Walsh also said the pre-match trash-talking that Muhammad Ali was often (in)famous for was really just an act. "He had to talk because boxing was more individual," Ali-Walsh told ESPN. "But behind the cameras, my grandfather was one of the most humble people you'll ever meet. He definitely talked, and he told us that he talked a lot for people to pay, for the entertainment aspect of it. That's why he did the talking. So it would sell."

Biaggio Ali-Walsh is still in the knockout business

Given how attractive and charming his grandfather was, it should come as no surprise that Biaggio Ali-Walsh grew up to be gorgeous. In June 2016, Ali-Walsh (above middle) confirmed on Twitter that he was signed to acclaimed modeling agency Wilhelmina. 

As for how the whole modeling thing started, Ali-Walsh told Sports Illustrated, "When I was about 5 years old, I was with Ford Chicago. When we moved to Vegas, things just didn't work out. So I was done with [modeling]. Then, I think it was in March of last year, I got a [Twitter direct message] from an agent with Wilhelmina Models. He said that he was from Wilhelmina, and he was interested in signing me as a model. I didn't know what Wilhelmina was. So I researched it, and it turned out it was a huge agency, so I went to my parents, and we tried to get things going." 

Muhammad Ali inspired his grandson's ink

Biaggio Ali-Walsh has honored his grandfather's legacy through a series of tattoos, which, unlike a lot of celebs, we're pretty sure he'll never come to regret. According to TMZ, Ali-Walsh got tattoos on his forearms in December 2016–one arm has a butterfly and the other sports a bee. The tattoos pay homage to Muhammad Ali's famous quote, "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." 

Ali-Walsh told CBS KPIX 5 that he got the ink during his senior year of high school, and that he generally gets compliments on the artwork even though people somehow don't make the connection to his grandfather's catchphrase. 

The Ali family legacy has a dark side

Speaking to ESPN in 2017, Biaggio Ali-Walsh's mother, Rasheda Ali-Walsh, shared concerns about her sons playing professional sports–fears that were no doubt influenced by her father's long battle with Parkinson's disease, which doctors say was caused by boxing

"I don't want Biaggio to play football and I don't want Nico to box," she confessed. "I want them to swim or play golf or something that wouldn't worry me as much. But then I realize: What if my grandmother had taken away my dad's dream from him in boxing?" She continued, "My dad loved boxing so much, but he should have retired a lot sooner. He didn't want to say goodbye to boxing. He let boxing say goodbye to him."

Follow Biaggio Ali-Walsh's greatness on the gram

There are a lot of celebs who refuse to make their personal lives public by logging on to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like. However, like basically every other millennial out there, Biaggio Ali-Walsh is very active on social media. He has more than 20,000 followers and counting on Twitter, while his Instagram account boasts more than 100,000.

His Instagram offers an especially close look at the youngster's life, where he posts photos with friends, modeling shots, and snaps from football games. If you have about four mindless hours to spare, you can follow him here.