Muhammad Ali’s family tree: Meet the boxing Hall of Famer’s daughter Laila, grandson’s Nico and Biaggio, parents, wives & kids

By | October 29, 2022

Once in a while, a generational talent comes into boxing, looking to make waves in the sport. Some have a name or the skill to back up their claim as the best. 

The Ali family, spearheaded by the late Muhammad Ali, have both.

Muhammad Ali is one of the most famous boxers of all time. A multi-time heavyweight champion, Ali, known as “The Greatest,” left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. From his dominant skills in the ring to his trash-talking, Ali had it all. 

Known originally as Cassius Clay, Ali fought against the very best: Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and Sonny Liston. Outside of the ring, Ali was an advocate for change. He refused to be inducted into the armed forces and was denied a boxing license from 1967-1970. After being reinstated, Ali went on a run that would eventually see him win back heavyweight gold. 

Later in life, Ali had Parkinson’s. That led to a gradual decline in his health. In 2016, he passed away at the age of 74. The world mourned the passing of a legend. 

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Although he is gone, his legacy lives on through his family. Whether it is via advocating for change or within the sports world, the “Ali” name won’t be going away that easily.  

The Sporting News has a breakdown of how many members of the Ali family have competed in boxing and MMA. There will also be a breakdown of the Ali family history.

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Muhammad Ali’s daughter: Laila Ali

The daughter of Ali and his third wife Veronica Porche, Laila became a boxer at 18. Making her debut in 1999, Ali would beat Christy Martin, a true pioneer for women’s boxing, in 2003. Martin was one of the reasons for her getting into the sport. 

“I actually did not even think about becoming not only an athlete, but a boxer until I saw women’s boxing on television for the first time when I was about 19 years old,” Ali said on Shop Today With Jill Martin, via E Online. “My dad was not happy about it. He literally tried to talk me out of it. I had to prove him wrong. ‘Dad, I can understand why you feel that way, but just watch me.'” 

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Ending her career in 2007 with a 24-0 record, Ali won 21 fights via knockout. She is a former WBC, WIBA, and IBA super-middleweight champion. 

Nico Ali Walsh

(Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)

Muhammad Ali’s grandson: Nico Ali Walsh

Born in Chicago, Muhammad Ali’s grandson spent months training with Abel Sanchez, who has worked with Gennadiy Golovkin, Joe Joyce, and Nana Konadu. After only about 30 amateur fights, Ali Walsh joined Top Rank in 2021. 

“I’m doing what I love,” Ali Walsh stated when he signed with Top Rank, a former home of Ali’s. “Signing with Top Rank is a dream come true… I am honored to continue the fighting legacy that my grandfather started. It is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.”

Ali Walsh made his pro debut in August 2021, beating Jordan Weeks via TKO. He wore the late Ali’s personal white Everlast shorts to the ring. Ali Walsh won two more fights in 2021, beating James Westley II via TKO in October and Reyes Sanchez via majority decision in December. 

The orthodox fighter started 2022 by beating Jeremiah Yeager via TKO in January. In April, Ali Walsh knocked out Alejandro Ibarra. Back in August, Ali Walsh took care of Reyes Sanchez via knockout. Ali Walsh will face off against Billy Wagner on the undercard of Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Jamaine Ortiz on October 29. The fight takes place in a familiar place for the Ali family: Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.

Biaggio Ali Walsh - PFL

Muhammad Ali’s grandson: Biaggio Ali Walsh 

The latest member of the Ali family to compete in combat sports, Biaggio Ali Walsh is taking a different approach. The grandson of Muhammad Ali, Biaggio will be competing as an MMA fighter. 

Biaggio was a former football player in high school and a combination of the University of California and UNLV. Ali Walsh later joined Xtreme Couture MMA. He fell in love with the sport and began his journey. The 24-year-old is 1-1 as an amateur. He recently signed an amateur contract with the Professional Fighters League and will be showcased on ESPN+ during the PFL Finals on November 25. 

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Telling Boxing Junkie that fighting is in his blood, Ali Walsh will never forget the influence Muhammad Ali had on him in just a short period. 

“He’s been an inspirational figure since I was a kid,” he told Boxing Junkie. “… It was weird when I would visit him. On one hand it was like, ‘OK, this is my grandfather.” On the other hand he was an icon. He was someone I looked up to, someone the world looked up to. “He’s just always been an influential part of my life.”

Muhammad Ali

(Getty Images)

Muhammad Ali’s parents: Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. and Odessa Grady Clay

Originally known as Cassius Clay, Ali was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay. His father, born in 1912, was named in honor of a 19th-century abolitionist with the same name. 

A sign and billboard painter, Clay passed away in 1990 after suffering a heart attack. 

Odessa Grady Clay, born in 1917, married Muhammad Ali’s father in 1934. Her influence was felt by Ali. In the book Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times, Ali recalled the love his mother shared with him and the lessons she taught. 

“My mother is a Baptist, and when I was growing up, she taught me all she knew about God,” said Ali. “Every Sunday, she dressed me up, took me and my brother to church, and taught us the way she thought was right. She taught us to love people and treat everybody with kindness. She taught us it was wrong to be prejudiced or hate. I’ve changed my religion and some of my beliefs since then, but her God is still God; I just call him by a different name.

“And my mother, I’ll tell you what I’ve told people for a long time. She’s a sweet, fat, wonderful woman, who loves to cook, eat, make clothes, and be with family. She doesn’t drink, smoke, meddle in other people’s business, or bother anyone, and there’s no one who’s been better to me my whole life.”

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It was Ali’s mother who supported Ali through his boxing career. She traveled with Ali and sat ringside during his fights. 

Following the death of her husband, Odessa died of heart failure in 1994. 

Ali has stated in the past that the relationship between his parents was “rocky” at best. 

Muhammad Ali’s brother: Rudolph Valentino Clay

Born in 1944, Rudolph changed his name to Rahman Ali. A fellow boxer, Rahman turned pro in 1964. He had a 14-3-1 boxing record, with seven wins via knockout. Ali’s ended his career on a 2-2-1 run. 

While he didn’t have the same success as his brother, Rahman didn’t give up. When Ali passed away, Rahman recalled the moment he knew his brother would be one of the best to put on a pair of boxing gloves. 

“Muhammad was 12 years old and I was 10,” he stated, via ABC News. “The moment he walked into the gym, he knew he would be great. You know what he said to me? … He said … ‘I’m going to be the greatest fighter that ever lived.’ And then one day he did it. He was gifted with success, he was born with success,” he said.

Rahman recalled being there for Ali from the beginning. He told The Sun that he cut his career short to help his brother. While he misses Ali, he “will see him again in heaven.” 

Muhammad Ali

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive)

Muhammad Ali’s wives

Muhammad Ali had four wives. He married Sonji Roi in 1964 not long after they met one another. They divorced in 1966, part of the reason being she refused to join the Nation of Islam. 

Ali married Belinda Boyd in 1967, who changed her name to Khalilah Ali. The second marriage would end due in 1977 to Ali’s infidelity. 

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Immediately after (that same year), Ali married actress and model Veronica Porche. Laila Ali was one of their children. They would end up divorcing one another in 1986. That was also due to Ali’s infidelities. 

Finally, Yolanda Williams married Ali in 1986. Williams and Ali knew one another since they were young. She became Ali’s caregiver, and they would stay together until he died in 2016.

“When I was 17,” Williams stated to USA Today when asked when she realized she loved Ali. “But I think I’ve always loved him. I knew, at the end, I was going to be the one married to him. It was like a road map.”

Muhammad Ali’s other children

Including Laila, Ali has had nine kids. They are as follows: 

  • Muhammad Ali Jr.
  • Maryum Ali
  • Rasheda Ali
  • Asaad Amin
  • Hana Ali
  • Khaliah Ali
  • Jamillah Ali
  • Miya Ali

Several of the children work in the corporate world, are motivational speakers, have worked in baseball, and have written books about their father.