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Nico Ali Walsh wins on points against Eduardo Ayala, improves his record to 8-0


Through eight fights and 18 months in the professional ranks, Nico Ali Walsh maintained his perfect record.


With a unanimous decision victory over Eduardo Ayala of Phoenix after six rounds, the 21-year-old fighting grandson of the late, renowned Muhammad Ali improved to 8-0 (5KOs). On Friday night from Glendale, Arizona's Desert Diamond Arena, judges Dennis O'Connell (60-53) Esther Lopez (59-55) and Tim Cheatham (59-55) all had Ali Walsh comfortably winning the match.


Ayala arrived to perform for his native audience. The chubby but tenacious middleweight from Phoenix frequently connected in the first round with his right hand. The better parts of the round belonged to Ali Walsh, who made excellent use of his right uppercut. The unbeaten middleweight, though, momentarily had trouble getting into rhythm.


Round two marked a significant change in that.


Ali Walsh, a native of Chicago who now resides in Las Vegas and holds a degree from UNLV, delivered the fight's opening knockdown. It was a right hand that knocked Ayala to the ground immediately after the second round's minute mark. Ayala survived Ali Walsh's subsequent volley and outlasted the count to make his way back inside. Emanuel Savoy, Ali Walsh's head trainer, was shocked by the rekindled confidence displayed by Ayala and warned his protege to be cautious when at close quarters.


In the third round, Ali Walsh presented a more methodical attack, sticking to the fundamentals and landing precise combinations. Ali Walsh continued to be uneasy and succeed with his right hand and a left hook behind it in round four, despite Ayala's ability to quicken the tempo. Ali Walsh prevailed in a fight with the right hands, briefly knocking Ayala out near the conclusion of round four, despite having to deal with a gash along his cheekbone.


At the conclusion of round five, Ayala's embrace of Ali Walsh provided a "glad to be here" moment. Even though the 30-year-old local boxer believed the bout was over, he was forced to regroup before the sixth and final round.


Ayala attempted to shake things up by beginning the round with a southpaw stance, but Ali Walsh still had plenty left in the tank. In the last seconds of the battle, Ali Walsh successfully connected with a crisp left hook as Ayala (9-3-1, 3KOs) took a moral victory for his valiant effort. But the ultimate result put an end to his three-fight winning streak.

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