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Bros before foes – Walsh certain friendship isn’t an issue when it comes to coaching Dalton


“Faithful are the wounds of a friend than a kiss from an enemy,” that’s Dee Walsh’s brilliant and biblical two fingers to those who suggest his friendship with Ruairi Dalton will hamper any coaching relationships they have.

The ‘I am your coach not your friend’ line has been trotted out nigh on every sport and there are those that argue that trainers, managers and coaches should avoid becoming to close to the athlete that work under them.

It’s too late to put what some may call a ‘healthy barrier’ between mentor and student in the case of Walsh and ‘The Rook’.

The St James duo have been best friends since childhood. They trained, fought – presumably in and out of the ring -, celebrated, grew and lived beside one another. They are as close as you’d get.

Indeed, they are that tight they would ring city wide alarm bells for those who preach against coach and fighter bonding.

However, not only is Walsh not concerned he see’s his relationship with a the former Ulster champ as a positive.

The former light middleweight stylist points out that Dalton, who debuts in the Ulster Hall on October 11, has always been dedicated and hard working – and with regards having to tell him harsh truths, he argues the truth coming from someone who cares from you is better than people telling you what you want to hear.

“One thing about Ruairi is we’ve trained together from day one there has never been a problem with his work ethic. In terms of telling him the truth I go by the bible verse: Faithful are the wounds of a friend than a kiss from an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6). I’ll always tell him the truth. He knows me more than anyone so knows to expect that,” Walsh told Irish-boxing.com.

“The main reason I’m really happy to be working with him is the fact I know no one is gonna care for him the way I would.”

There are those who argue Walsh should be still fighting, but he stated before the only way he will remain on the boxing path is as a coach. Dalton is the only fighter he is working full time with now in terms of pro fighters, but the slickest of operators is open to training other non ‘bluffers’.

“I’ve no one at the minute turning over just yet, but I am open to working with fighters going pro. In saying that I only want fighters who are giving it their all. I’m not wasting anymore time whatsoever on people who aren’t living the life and if I feel my time is being wasted I wouldn’t hesitate to end it. There’s far more bluffers in the sport than not.”


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com