The Monkstown fighter takes on the experienced Dervla Duffy, now of Crumlin, in the National Elite Championships decider on Saturday night predicting it’s just the start of what she believes will be a massive year.
The majority of the finalists on Saturday’s packed National Stadium-hosted, TG4-broadcast finals night have been keen to bat away questions regarding Tokyo 2020 and the qualifying process that may lay ahead if they win this weekend.
The ‘one fight at time’ mantra has reared it’s head in different forms, but Belfast’s Walsh, whose younger brother Aidan was edged in the 69kg semi final by Paddy Donovan, has a long-term vision.
The European, EU, and double Commonwealth Games medal winner believes she is the best in the world at the weight and plans to prove it this year – and if she does just that, she will book a place to Tokyo.
“This is going to be a huge year for me,” Walsh promised Irish-Boxing.com with European Games, European Championships, and World Championships on the horizon.
“I’ve put in a really hard camp and have worked really hard with my coaches, so I’m looking forward to starting the year off right by becoming Elite champion,” she added before noting that she has plenty more to give after a year in which she traded wins with Italian world champ Alessia Mesiano.
“I’ve proved last year that I’m up there with the best 57kg boxers in the world and I believe I’m only getting started.”
“The strength and speed I have at this weight is amazing, so it’s time to show that this year. I believe I’m the best in the world, I just need to prove that now.”
“I have always been confident. I am one of the hardest trainers you will meet. I believe in myself and always go for gold. I am excited for the year ahead.”
Walsh tried her hand at 51kgs in the last cycle but has returned to 57kg, via EU gold at the non-Olympic class of 54kg, where she is more comfortable after it was made an Olympic weight.
While her bout with Duffy this weekend could determine her Olympic future she feels no pressure.
Walsh outlined how “I go into every tournament the same. I prepare fully and my mindset is bulletproof. If anything, it makes it more exciting.”
The decorated 25-year-old received a bye into this weekend’s massive final, but claims she won’t be affected by not having a quarter or semi-final to sharpen up in.
“It doesn’t matter if I had five fights to get here or one, I am fully prepared. I’m a full time athlete and I am prepared for whatever comes my way, I always stay ready,” she adds before commenting on her opponent – who she will be facing in a fifth Senior final.
“I think Dervla is a brilliant boxer. I can only control the controllables, I only focus on myself. I know my ability and my work ethic, so I am really looking forward to Saturday night.”