BELIEVED to be Muhammad Ali’s youngest relative in Ennis, Kai O’Grady has not ruled out a photograph with the sporting hero.
At five months, his knowledge of The Greatest is minimal but his mother believes he could yet follow in the legendary fighter’s footsteps.
“He is putting on the pounds so much we think he is going to be a boxer,” his mother Kathrina told The Clare Champion.
And boxing is in Kai’s genes. His grandfather, the late Charles O’Grady from the Turnpike, was involved in boxing in Ennis’s Chapel Lane.
“Charles loved boxing. He had been boxing from very young,” explained Charles wife, Jayne.
According to the O’Gradys, they share lineage with former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali’s great-grandfather Abe Grady, who left the Turnpike and emigrated to the US in the 1860s.
Charles O’Grady, Kai’s grandfather, emigrated himself in the 1970s and it was while working in Britain in 1977 that he met his future wife, Jayne in Dorking, Surrey. Three years later, the couple moved to Ireland and married in the Cathedral of Ss Peter and Paul in Ennis.
Jayne is English but of African and West Indian descent. “My ancestors were slaves in banana plantations on the island of Dominique. They had come from Africa originally,” she explained.
Kai, whose father is African, is the youngest of the O’Gradys and Jayne is a very proud grandmother.
“It is coming full circle again, the black is back,” she jokes. “It would be nice to meet Muhammad Ali and I would like for him to meet Kai,” she continued.
Indeed, this is a sentiment echoed by Kai’s mother, Kathrina. “I would love to get Kai and Muhammad Ali in a photo together. That would be really cool,” she said.
Jayne explained, “My sisters booked us flights over to see my mother [Kai’s great-grandmother]. Muhammad Ali is coming here on September 1 and we are due to go out on September 2. These were booked months ago, so we are hoping this is fate.”
Kai himself is introspective about Ali, refusing to comment on the boxer’s visit.