By Bernard O’Neill
WORLD coach of the year Billy Walsh has led the tributes to Cork and Irish boxing legend Maurice Walsh who died following an illness on Sunday night last.
The current USA head coach said that Cork-native Walsh, no relation, was a true gentleman and friend.
Maurice Walsh, a former Irish coach, was born in Providence Rhode Island and played American football
with the Steamrollers, an affiliate of the New York Giants.
He arrived in Cork over forty years ago and was an influential figure with the St Colman’s BC on Leeside where he
was affectionately known as the “Yank.”
Billy Walsh, Maurice’s son, became the club’s first Irish Elite champion in 1985 and went one to win another seven national crowns with the Shanagarry club.
Walsh senior also helped steer Eanna Falvey, a former medic to the Irish rugby team, to an Irish Elite heavyweight belt in 2002.
“I knew Maurice well. I was helping his son Billy, whom I ended up fighting. Maurice was a true legend, a true gentleman and a true friend, said Billy Walsh.
The President of the Cork Boxing Board Michael O’Brien said that the late Mr Walsh was a dignified man of honour and substance.
“His contribution to boxing on Leeside is legendary, and I am delighted that we had the opportunity to honour him on two occasions. On behalf of the Board, I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife and family.”
Dominic O’Rourke, President of the IABA, also extended his condolences to the Walsh family. “He was a gentleman and a great Irish coach who trained numerous champions,” he said.