“Since I Couldn’t Talk Them Out of It“: Having Experienced Muhammad Ali’s Struggles Closely, Rasheda Ali Details Giving In to Her Son’s Ambition to Join Combat Sports Despite Being Against It Initially (Exclusive)

Muhammad Ali wrote epics with his fists in the ring and evoked poetry in the hearts of millions with his activism outside. This, perhaps, makes his unconquerable fight with Parkinson’s all the more tragic. And his daughter Rasheda Ali knows this better than most, for the reality hit close to home for her.

In an exclusive chat with Kenny Ducey for the EssentiallySports FanCast, Rasheda Ali spoke about how, because of how much her father suffered, she was initially against letting her children get into similar sports. However, much like her father with Laila Ali, she eventually came around.

Rasheda Ali takes after her father when it comes to parenting

In the latest iteration of the EssentiallySports FanCast, Kenny was joined by Nico Ali Walsh and his mother, Rasheda Ali. Having spoken about Ali’s Parkinson’s disease extensively, Ducey enquired whether she wanted her sons to get into such brutal sports. In response, the Actress/Author/PDAdvocate revealed, “Biaggio and Nico both were in flag football when they were young. And then when Biaggio wanted to escalate to tackle, I said absolutely not.”

Rasheda went on to claim that she didn’t change her mind about the decision until both her sons got to high school, despite both Nico and Biaggio Ali Walsh being extremely good at it. She added, “I didn’t even want him to do it then because I just didn’t like the whole high-impact hitting.” However, even Ali’s daughter had to let up at some point, so she did, but not without precautions.

“So, of course, they got to a level where they [could] make their own decisions. I can’t say you can’t do that at a certain age,” said Rasheda. She acknowledged, “Since I couldn’t talk them out of it, I just became a support for them.” Rasheda claimed she would make sure both her sons were always healthy and, most importantly, regularly visited a neurologist. She went as far as to ensure there was baseline testing before each of their matches.

Being a mother, it’s understandable why Rasheda worries. However, the fighting spirit runs deep in the family. Muhammad Ali’s promotor’s words are a testament to that.

Former boxing promoter reveals how Muhammad Ali worked through his Parkinson’s

While appearing in an interview with the Wall Street Journal back in 2017, legendary promoter Bob Arum shed light on how Parkinson’s affected Ali, or more accurately, how he dealt with it. It’s worth mentioning that Arum and Ali first worked together for Ali’s 1966 fight against George Chuvalo. Arum would then go on to promote 27 fights featuring “The Greatest.”

Speaking about Ali’s attitude towards Parkinson’s, Arum claimed, “Ali was the kind of person that would never let on that he was suffering, that he was despondent, that he was down.” Arum clarified that Ali had accepted his debilitating disease and had found a way to deal with it. “He accepted the Parkinson’s … and worked through it. He took up doing magic tricks and entertaining you,” said Arum.

RASHEDA ALI™ on X: "Four years ago today, I lost my best friend @MuhammadAli.  RIP DADDY! I miss you more now than ever!!! https://t.co/GblsXb3SsE" / X

Despite witnessing her father’s suffering first-hand, Rasheda had to yield to her son’s ambitions, as revealed in her Exclusive Interview with EssentiallySports. However, considering what Arum said about Ali’s attitude till the very end, it seems unlikely to that her sons would have held back.


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