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Callum Walsh will continue to do things the UFC way

Callum Walsh is an outlier.

A boxer following a path no one has trodden before. The Cork man is effectively the UFC’s first boxer and has been a UFC Fight Pass headliner as well as their main boxing man since just his second fight.

That means he boasts a profile beyond your average 10-0 fighter and is possibly one the best-known of any earlier days fighter who didn’t turn over with an Olympic medal draped over their neck.

It also means ‘King’ has had to follow a UFC rather than traditional boxing matchmaking mantra and has thus had tougher tests than most at this stage of his career.

Such has been the rise that even experienced promoter, Tom Loeffler has to reassure himself of the approach he’s chosen for the 23-year-old.

“I have bigger plans for Callum but I sometimes forget he’s only 23 years old,” Loeffler told World Boxing News in the lead up to Walsh’s clash with Carlos Ortiz at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California.

“I was looking at his world ratings and sometimes have to step back and say I really need to get Callum a little bit more experience, but whenever I’ve proposed certain opponents for coach Freddie Roach, he’s never turned any of them down, and knows he’s ready, and believes in Callum’s skills.”

Walsh, who stopped Carson Jones in his seventh fight, built experience with wins over Ismale Villarreal and Dauren Yeleussinov in his last two fights – and is now moving at a rate that he could be just four wins away from a world title shot.

“A year, or a year and a half is good timing for him [to challenge for his first world title],” said Loeffler.

“You know the type of work he gets, and the sparring that he gets, down there at the Wildcard Boxing Club is second to none with all the world-class fighters that Freddie has down there is pretty impressive.”

“Anywhere between 15 and 20 fights sounds about right to me [for a title shot]. But it really just depends on these fights, continuing to learn, and how he looks.”

Considering the promise the 360 Promotions boss made to Dana White it certainly looks like Walsh will continue to learn on the job and be afforded the chance to impress his way into world title action. It appears he will be expected to take challenges and continue to be kept away from cotton wool.

“Dana is very happy with Walsh, and the matchmaking so far. That’s the promise I made [when signing the deal to air 360 Promotions shows on UFC Fight Pass],” Loeffler said. “We’re going to be putting on competitive fights because that’s what UFC fans are used to, and what Dana naturally strives for.

“Regardless of whether it’s the first UFC fight of the night, or the main event, it’s always competitive — which you don’t always see in boxing, or rarely even see, especially on the undercard.

“But on our shows, we definitely strive to live up to Dana’s expectations. If he’s going to put his stamp of approval on our series, and help build the fighters on the UFC platform, on social, his personal support, then we have to deliver on the fights.

“If somebody takes a tough loss on our series,” said Loeffler, “there’s no reason why they shouldn’t come back and be able to fight, just like you see in the UFC. That’s what I want to see in boxing — to go back to when people were considered legendary fighters, in an era when they’re in tough fights all the time and losses didn’t matter as much.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years