Just in Case – Preparations Pay Off for Callum Walsh ahead of unexpected World Championships chance

Callum Walsh picked up his third Irish title of the year on Friday night but the Cork light welterweight is dreaming of the world.

Last year’s European Junior champion will jet out to Budapest later this month for the World Youth Championships and used the Irish Under-18 Championships as the perfect way to prepare.

The Riverstown 17-year-old defeated Eric Byrne in the final on Friday night, putting in a controlled performance to claim a comfortable win over the Dubliner.

“It was slow enough, I started off slow enough,” he admitted to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards.

“He was tricky, I didn’t know how to read him, I didn’t know where his punches were coming from but I started to suss him our and in the last round I gave him a count.”

“It was a good enough fight, it’s good to have a cute fight before the Worlds to keep me sharp.”

Walsh was eliminated in the Last 16 of the European Youths back in April but has stayed in the gym since then, hoping for a break.

With the continental championships in Italy acting as the sole qualifier for the Worlds in Hungary, Walsh looked to have missed out on a spot but he remained training as if he were going – and it paid off earlier this Summer when he got the call to say that he had availed of added qualification slots from AIBA, the world governing body.

“I was training, I’m glad,” he said, looking back.

“I thought I didn’t qualify but I knew I was ranked #9 and they [the AIBA] said they were bringing eight [from Europe] so I kept training and thinking hopefully that one country would pull out and I’d be going – and then sure they added more places.”

Afforded an unexpected chance, Walsh is determined to get back on the podium following a controversial loss to Russian Ilya Popov at the Europeans.

The Leesider outlined how “hopefully I’ll medal, that’s why I’m going I suppose there’s no point in going out if you don’t think that.”

“I’m going out to win it anyway.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie