Champion Aidan Walsh – “This is 11 years of blood, sweat, and tears”
Amidst the tears, the hugs, and the kisses, Aidan Walsh told the media how “it’s just incredible, I’m lost for words. I don’t even know where I am at the minute, I’m on cloud nine.”
The Belfast welterweight had just won the 2017 Ulster Elite Senior title following a cagey fight with fellow young star Brett McGinty.
A close encounter, an eye-catching second round from the Monskstown star contributed to a 4-1 split-decision win at the Ulster Hall in Belfast.
It was an emotional win for Walsh who noted afterwards how “I’ve been through a lot of, lot of downs this year, a lot of downs – and I knew that I was going to take this, I’d seen it every day, honestly.”
“This isn’t just a one week training camp, two weeks, three weeks, this is 11 years of blood, sweat, and tears.”
Walsh was very familiar with his opponent. Back in 2015 they had both medalled at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa, with Walsh winning light welterweight gold while McGinty took home welter silver.
The new champion was keen to pay credit to his vanquished foe and described how “Brett, he’s a tough guy and I knew that he was going to keep coming, but at the end of the day my skill paid off.”
“Brett is a great, great fella. I’ve shared many, many trips with Brett, and I must say Brett is an exceptional fighter. I always knew, someday down the line, we would meet.”
Nothing is confirmed, however the win at the weekend looks to have confirmed Walsh a spot on the Northern Ireland team for the Commonwealth Games next April in Australia
The Games on the Gold Coast have long been a target for the Ulster youngster whose older sister Michaela won flyweight silver at the 2014 edition in Glasgow.
Walsh outlined how “the Gold Coast has been a dream of mine since it got announced, even in 2014, at the last Commonwealth Games, I said ‘no matter where it is, I’ll be at the next Commonwealth Games, with my sister.'”
“Since then, I’ve put in a lot of hard work, and if it wasn’t for my coaches at Monkstown Boxing Club, Paul Johnston, my dad, Dan Anderson, and all the other coaches, I wouldn’t be here doing what I’m doing with such skill and fitness.”
“I said in 2014, when my sister won silver in the Commonwealths, I said ‘mark my words, I’m going to be at the next ones, with you, we’ll both be there to get the gold medals.'”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)