The bad news is that Dee Walsh isn’t remotely tempted to return to the ring.
The good news is that he is back in boxing and, even better for fans of the flashy stylist, he is working with a fighter who he believes has world level potential.
The former Irish light middleweight champion, who retired just as he turned 26, has teamed up with Belfast’s Mathew Fitzsimons [2(2)-0] and began training the rangey, power-punching super featherweight. Since then he has joined up with ‘brother’ and fellow early retiree Ray Ginley to set up the Immanuel Boxing Academy.
Walsh reveals he “fell” into training, but has been enjoying the other side of a fight game he had issues with when he used to sport the gloves.
“It just fell into place within about a week,” he told Irish-Boxing.com when explaining how he became a trainer.
“I had no intention of ever getting involved with it again, but I saw Kieran [Farrell] saying he’d like to manage any fighters from England or Ireland. The first person came to my head was Matt Fitzsimons. He’s been messed about and hasn’t fought in a year and a half so I tagged him with Kieran. It took him about a month to get back and he asked me to train him. I always knew how talented he was when we trained together and, when we spoke to each other, we both thought the same and had the same style so I knew we’d be a good match so I went for it.”
‘Waldo’ was always that bit different than most. Outspoken about the business end of the game and flash and confident in the ring. That diverse approach hasn’t changed now that he is a coach and he says he has an ‘upside down’ approach.
“I’m really enjoying it so far. I can tell you my philosophy about boxing is upside down from anyone I’ve ever spoke too. I’m happy to be giving the knowledge I’ve gained and sharing the lessons I learnt the hard way to fighters,” he added before explaining his immediate plans for his fighter.
“Short term we’ll keep busy on these shows with Kieran. I want to really build and add substance to the attributes he has. We will work on using every advantage he has, then in the long term it will be very hard for anyone in the world to beat a 6’2″ super featherweight who can hit.”
At present Walsh only has Fitzsimons as his fighter, although he will be working alongside former super middleweight Ginley, who is training the likes of Lewis Crocker and Gerard Healy.
‘Waldo’, who retired undefeated despite a rumoured WBO world title eliminator in the pipeline, claims he won’t overload with fighters just yet, but is delighted to have teamed up with former Emerald Promotions star Ginley.
“At the minute I’m happy with the gym we have. I’ve been advised by Gerard McCaffrey [his old coach] not to take on too much, but it would depend who it was. If it was someone who is known to use and abuse managers or coaches or one of these people who just want to call themselves ‘a pro boxer’ for social status I wouldn’t have any time for them. If it was a kid hungry and willing to learn, like Matt is, I’d happily help them out,” he continued before addressing the Ginley link up.
“As I say, Ray and myself are brothers, but the strange thing is, I knew he was training Lewis Crocker but I had no idea he’d other fighters or a club – and he had no idea I was training Matt. We all bumped into each other while they were all signing with Kieran and he said why don’t me and him do it with each other so I jumped at it.”
To hear Walsh talking with passion about boxing again does get you wondering if he had considered a return to the ring. Unfortunately for his fans, and fortunately for Fitzsimons and possibly more young fighters, that isn’t on the cards.
“I can honestly say not one bit,” he responds when asked if he was tempted to return.
“Watching how hard these boys train has made me glad it’s not me anymore, much easier to get up in the morning and I’m really looking forward to the shows coming up.”