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Defiant Grainne Walsh has a point to prove

Grainne Walsh was happy to agree to disagree with the High-Performance selectors after she wasn’t picked to represent Ireland at the European Games last Summer.

However, that doesn’t mean she won’t do all she can to prove them wrong.

The decorated Offally star emerged from a talent-packed 66kg field with the Irish National title earlier this year.

The EU Games and EU Championship bronze medal winner felt that win may have secured her passage to the European Games, which doubled up as an Olympic qualifier, but she wasn’t picked to travel to Poland.

The 28-year-old admits she didn’t agree with the decision, but took it on the chin as much she could and set off on a mission to prove she is the best at a weight in the country.

The next step in convincing the selectors that she should be Ireland’s #1 welterweight is to retain her title, something she plans to do this Saturday.

“Boxing is a subjective sport and a sport of opinions. The only thing I can do is apply myself and control the things I can control. I’ve come back from many setbacks and this is another one to add to the list,” she tells after defeating Kaci Rock at the National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m looking forward now to getting in there in the final and stamping my name on the 66kgs division.”

Rather than take the hump with not being selected for the continental competition, Walsh decided to take action.

“I thought I should have been picked the last time, but like I said the decision was out of my hand. I went away, trained really hard,joined a new club, St Mary’s in Tallaght and just worked hard.

“I’ve gone and done the right things, made the adjustments needed and I’ll prove again that I’m the best 66kg boxer in Ireland.”

The fact Amy Broadhurst didn’t secure qualification in Poland in July leaves the door open for all the Elite 66kg operators.

Walsh has to see off competition from World Championships gold medal winners Lisa O’Rourke and Broadhurst as well as Christina Desmond and even Rock to secure selection for the next qualifier, which takes place in Paris next year.

However, she admits at this stage she is just happy the dream is still alive.

“I’m glad to be in this position. To be honest, back in the summer when I wasn’t picked to go to the qualifiers I would have given my right arm to be in this position. That door is still open and that Olympic dream is still alive. It’s up to me now to go and make it come true at the second attempt.”

To retain her title the Offaly native will have to defeat friend and regular ring rival Desmond in a mouthwatering decider.

“Myself and Christina go way back. We are friends and we’ve shared the ring many of times, but I’m confident on my day I’ll beat anyone they put in front of me.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years