In February 1964, 22-year-old Cassius Clay defeated Sonny Liston to become the world heavyweight champion of boxing. This was shortly before he adopted his new name, Muhammad Ali. After the fight he had famously said “I’m pretty.” Well, a particular modeling agency believes so is his grandson.
Biaggio Ali Walsh, son of Rasheda Ali Walsh, is a second year running back for six-time state champions Bishop Gormon High School in Las Vegas. Reverent to his grandfather’s athletic legacy, the teenager, who has also tried his hand at boxing, has particularly impressed in football with his pace and sidesteps. For this, he was reported to be on the radar of several colleges. And now, according to TMZ Sports sources, he has signed a contract with one of the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, which happens to be one of the biggest modelling agencies in the world.
Wilhelmina has previously signed the likes of Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, and Charlotte McKinney. Seventeen-year-old Biaggio is the latest addition to their impressive line up of models. One of Wihelmina’s representatives told TMZ sources that the agency belives Biaggio could be successful in all areas of the industry, including print, commercial, TV, or even film. TMZ sources also used a quote from this representative.
“He has a great look. He’s a well-rounded person. That’s what we look for.”
After Ali’s passing earlier this month, Biaggio posted a touching tribute to his grandfather on Instagram, calling him his idol.
“You are the greatest person to walk the face of the Earth. Your dedication and hard work inspired the entire world. My senior football season is dedicated to you Poppy. You are my idol and it’s not often that your idol is also your relative. You are in a better place and you are no longer suffering now. God bless you forever. The Greatest Of All Time. My Poppy…. I love you.”
He also shared his grandfather’s last piece of advice given to him by his grandfather with the world on twitter.
the last piece of advice poppy gave me.. pic.twitter.com/hTaB6uHqfL
— Nico Ali Walsh (@NicoAliX74) June 9, 2016
If anything, we know that Ali would be proud of his grandson. The three-time world heavyweight champion passed away on June 3, 2016, at the age 74. He had spent 5 days at an Arizona hospital following a respiratory problem that gradually worsened. Ali had been suffering from Parkinson’s syndrome for a long time, a disease that had impaired the two things that made him the legend he is: his athletic agility and his poetic speech. Ali was one of most admired athletes in the world, famous not only for his in-ring prowess but also for his off-ring personality and for his vociferous battles against racism, war, and religious intolerance.
Muhammad Ali’s funeral was held on Friday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucy. Thousands gathered to pay tribute to Ali, including an ensemble of celebrities including former president Bill Clinton, Will Smith, David Beckham, Lennox Lewis, and more. And Ali’s own grandson, Biaggio, posted this on his Instagram account.
Here is the famous speech he made right after becoming world heavyweight champion for the first time in 1964, after beating Sonny Liston.
[Image via Instagram]