When Andy Lee suggests Kenneth Egan should become part of the High Performance Team you sit up and take note, when Billy Walsh echos the sentiment you get the contract drawn up.
Last month former WBO middleweight champ Lee stated his belief that his former sparring partner was ideal for a role within the team. Now, current AIBA World Coach of the Year Walsh has gone as far as to suggest that the Olympic silver medal winner is one that got away.
Having built a successful High Performance Team and oversaw an unprecedented period of success at all levels, Walsh – who now coaches the USA Team – had hoped to see some of the leading lights of his era become part of the coaching set-up when they retired.
The Wexford man feels the likes of Paddy Barnes and Katie Taylor could be great to have around any future teams, but highlighted 10-time Irish champion Egan as one that should have been approached before he entered the political ring and became a Fine Gael councilor.
“At this stage, I would have thought their experience would be priceless,” he said in an in-depth interview with Vincent Hogan in the Irish Independent. “Because now the group that is coming in would have looked up to those guys. Maybe took up boxing because of them. That was always the dream I had. Kenny especially was the one I thought would be head coach after my time. Or at least some stage along the way.
“Always first man back to the gym. Always trained diligently and was always trying to improve. He had that High Performance mindset.”
“I did think that back in the day but unfortunately he had to go and find another career for himself. He got fed up waiting for something to happen with the IABA.”