Dee Walsh won’t stop Dreaming for Padraig McCrory – World Titles are Possible

It’s destination world title for Padraig McCrory [14(8)-0] and the route is irrelevant, according to his coach.

‘The Hammer’ hammered home his next-level credentials and continued his very impressive run of form by dropping and stopping former world champion Marco Antonio Periban on the Michael Conlan-Miguel Marriaga undercard at the SSE Arena on Saturday.

The victory was the 34-year-old’s fourth consecutive step-up stoppage win and came via such a performance the Belfast fight fraternity are finding it harder and harder to keep a lid on big McCrory fight expectations.

Trainer Dee Walsh is one of those excited. The often pragmatic coach doesn’t just believe the big punching super middle is next-level ready, the former Irish champion believes he is world-level capable – although he is aware the Belfast man needs a fight or two to prove that is the case to the wider public.

A fight with Rocky Fielding, who was name-dropped again over the weekend, would go along the way to achieving that for a fighter, whose profile or lack thereof cost him a massive fight with David Lemieux last year.

The other option is an EU title fight with Gustave Tamba. The Conlan Boxing puncher is mandatory for the French fighter’s strap and the bout goes to purse bids tomorrow, meaning the popular Belfast man could take the continental route to a world title shot.

Either way works for the Irish-Boxing.com Coach of the Year for 2021.

“Either opponent would be great for Poddy,” Walsh tells Irish-boxing.com.

“Rocky Fielding is a big enough name in the UK because of the massive fights he’s had and [Tamba] holds a prestigious title. Either fight could catapult him into world title category, which is ultimately what we want.”

Reflecting on the victory over a Mexican who had shared the ring with the likes of Sadio Bika, Badou Jack, James DeGale, Joshua Buatsi, and J’Leon Love and who was adamant he was coming to win, Walsh was extremely pleased. The retired-young light middle suggested McCrory’s performance level increases with the level of opposition.

“I thought Poddy’s performance was brilliant,” he beams.

“He’s starting to show, as the opponents get better, the improvements he’s made these last couple of years,” he adds before revealing the entertaining fight went exactly to plan.

“We went into the game plan a couple of months back and he executed it perfectly. We’ve been working a lot in switching stances these past couple of years. A certain part of the ring and at times to do both, forward and back which took his opponent unawares. Another positive is there’s more to Poddy that people haven’t seen yet.”

There is also a lot more to come from Colm Murphy [5(1)-0], another one of Walsh’s students, says the Glean coach.

‘Posh Boy’ rounded off a perfectly managed debut year with a domestic win over Ruadhan Farrell, picking up the Celtic title along the way.

“Colm has done brilliant so far,” adds Walsh.

“Five fights within a year and great to get his first eight-rounder and first title under his belt at only 22. We were talking in the gym today and although he only lost one round that was Murph at 30%.”

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