Dana White and Freddie Roach praise ‘The King’ Callum Walsh

Maybe not Conor McGregor big but Dana White believes Callum Walsh [3(3)-0] has the potential to generate sizable hype and grow into something special.

The 21-year-old Cork fighter has been collecting admirers at a rapid pace ever since he walked into the famous Wild Card Gym and asked to train just over a year ago.

Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach was the first big stateside name to sign up to the light middleweight’s fan club and was quickly followed by some well known fighters, 360 Promotions boss Tom Loeffler and then UFC President Dana White.

His three first-round knockouts from three fights have seen him develop into a UFC Fight Pass bill topper and speaking ahead of ‘The King’s’ step-up fight with Benjamin Whitaker in Hollywood tonight, White suggests he will soon top bigger bills.

“We’ve had a lot of success with the Irish here with Conor and I think this kid could become extremely popular with the Irish,” White told Yahoo Sports. “I’m not saying he’s going to be [as popular as] Conor, but he’s a great kid and he has a really fun fighting style. We can take him to New York and Boston and really build him into something.”

Legendary fight trainer is also a fan and is backing the Cork light middle to be a success.

Speaking on tonight’s fight Roach suggests Whitaker has what it takes to take the 21-year-old past the first round for the first time.

“He’s a very good puncher, he throws combinations really well and he has very good fundamentals,” Roach said. “He’s getting better and better all the time and he has a great work ethic. We’ve had to push him. This opponent coming up [Whitaker] is a lot better than the others he’s fought. I like that because I want to see him get some more rounds.

“But the kid can fight, for sure. He has that power and he has that exciting style that people like, and he has a lot of potential to do some very good things in this busin

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 sport for a living for 19 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