If Kurt Walker‘s colourful language is anything to go by, he has a disdain for any medal that hasn’t a gold glow.
Walker was last week selected to represent Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games, which will play out in Australia in April – and the Lisburn amateur is going for gold on the Gold Coast.
The reigning Irish Senior Elite Champion claims he previously would have settled for securing a medal in such a prestigious contest, but has had a change in attitude.
The Canal fighter states he is now more aware of his capabilities and is confident enough basically tell silver and bronze to sod off.
“My goal is gold that’s it. I used to settle for less but I’m a lot more mature now. I know what I’m capable of.”
“Fuck the other medals,” a determined Walker told Irish-Boxing.com.
While he is confident and determined of overall victory, the Olympic hopeful does know he will have to overcome some very good operators. Indeed, he highlights the reigning European champion Peter McGrail as his biggest threat to success.
“Peter McGrail from England had a great 2017 winning European gold and World bronze, I think he will be the toughest test, the Indian [Gaurav Bidhuri[ also won World bronze so he’s another one.”
Walker was always favourite to be selected in the 56kg category, but the fact that he missed a reinvigorated Ulster Senior Championships through injury did gift others at his weight to shine and possibly force their way into contention.
However, considering he claimed European bronze and added to his list of domestic achievements last year Walker was relatively confident he would be picked at the weight ahead of Ulster champion Eamonn McNally.
“In a way [I was confident I would be picked] but then again you never know with this boxing game. I think winning my third senior title and my first major medal this year had a lot to do with it.I had a great year,” he added before expressing his delight at being on the team heading Down Under.
“II am absolutely buzzing, it’s a great opportunity for me to go and show everyone live on TV what I’m capable of – also, it’s in Australia, you couldn’t of picked a better place.”
At present Walker is one of Ireland’s main Tokyo 2020 hopes and the fighter, who may not enter the first of the two National Championships this year, believes his Commonwealth quest will only help his Olympic aspirations.
“I think this is part of the journey I need to take. I feel like I’m getting better every competition, I’m learning new stuff everyday.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The FIghting Irish (ThefIrish)