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Prospect Watch: Top Ranked: Inside SCOPE on Nico Ali Walsh and Keyshawn Davis

Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez may have headlined the Top Rank boxing event at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend, but the co-feature, showcasing the upcoming wave of boxing superstars under the Top Rank banner left a grand impression over the weekend.

Footage courtesy of Top Rank

Keyshawn Davis

Considered the future of the lightweight division, which is already stacked full of young talent from top to bottom, Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (5-0, 4 KO’s), thrashed Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez (18-2, 8 KO’s) en route to sixth-round TKO in the co-feature.

Sanchez was game, displaying toughness, grit and resistance, but Davis wore down the veteran round by round, as he picked spots to land effective shots. Davis, the Norfolk native landed 56.8 percent of his power shots, including 34 of 53 in the sixth round.

Davis speaking of Sanchez, “He’s a great fighter, and I didn’t realize that until the first round. I said, ‘Whoa, he can fight!’ I knew I had to snap into a different Keyshawn. He’s a great fighter, a real respectful fighter. Hat’s off to Esteban Sanchez. Thank you for this opportunity. We should see a lot of Esteban Sanchez in the future.”

“I just kept staying steady, staying with my rhythm. My coach, {Brian McIntyre}, kept telling me to go the body. I was trying to stab him a lot in the rounds, and honestly, I was just picking up round after round. I loved this fight because it challenged me. I felt challenged in the ring. I was happy I got a great performance and the stoppage.”

Excellent showing for Davis, this bout provided valuable experience as Davis set out to go on the fast track to a world title. While he is still on a fast trajectory, fights like this indicate the value of seasoning and matching up with the right opponents to help push the development of a young, talented fighter.

Nico Ali Walsh

The knockout of the night surely belonged to the young man with the famous last name, middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KO’s).

Boasting the same record as promotional compatriot Davis, Ali Walsh ignited the audience at the MGM Grand, by sparking Alejandro Ibarra (7-2, 2 KO’s) with a first-round knockout. For those who don’t know Ali Walsh, the grandson of “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali. 

Footage courtesy of Top Rank

Ali Walsh said, “I was setting him up with the right hand. I noticed his left hand was going down when he threw the jab. I was trying to counter it, and that’s what I did,” said Ali Walsh, in his post-fight interview.

“I wish the best for him and his team. He’s a true warrior. But I just waited for that setup, and I saw it and I took advantage.”

Ali Walsh appears to be taking advantage and making the most of his time, showing vast improvements from his last fight. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, considering his lineage.

If we continue to see the progression from both Davis and Ali Walsh, they’ll be headlining as main attractions in the near future.

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