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Aidan Walsh returns from year out at the Olympic Qualifiers today

Aidan Walsh fights for the first time in a year in Italy today.

There will be no easing his back in for the Belfast boxer as ‘The Madator’ returns in Olympic Qualifier action.

Not long after suffering National Elite semi-final defeat to Dean Walsh in 2023, the Holy Family fighter suffered injury at the Strandja and hasn’t been seen in the competitive ring since.

The Olympic medal winner did enough in behind-closed-doors battles with Walsh and Eugene McKeever to secure selection for the first of two Olympic qualifiers and will see competitive again today.

The 26-year-old, whose sister Michaela Walsh is already qualified for Paris, boxes Husain Alkandari from the UAE at the E-Works Arena in Busto Arsizio for a place in the light middleweight final 32.

Speaking online recently Walsh revealed he was happy to be back.

“A year out of sport and now I’m enjoying something I once loved. If you are struggling in life please speak out and get the help you deserve. Your mental health is more important than any sporting success… thank you to the people who stuck by me.”

No other Irish fighters are in action on a tame Tuesday. Kelyn Cassidy, Jude Gallagher, Daina Moorehouse and Martin McDonagh won their opening fights and are last 32 bound.

1st Olympic World Qualifier Team:

50kg Daina Moorehouse, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow

54kg Jennifer Lehane, DCU Boxing Club, Dublin

66kg Grainne Walsh, St. Mary’s BC, Tallaght, Dublin

51kg Sean Mari, Monkstown BC, Dublin

57kg Jude Gallagher, Two Castles ABC, Tyrone

71kg Aidan Walsh, Holy Family GG BC, Belfast

80kg Kelyn Cassidy, Saviours Crystal, Waterford

92+kg Martin McDonagh, Crumlin BC, Dublin

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: