Donovan heralds unsung Hammer hero

The contribution of Dee Walsh to Padraig McCrory’s brilliant IBO world title win should not be forgotten says Eric Donovan.

The recent EU European super featherweight title winner points out, that young coach ‘Waldo’ hasn’t been found wanting since taking up training fighters and believes his role in ‘The Hammer’s’ career-changing victory in Germany should also be celebrated.

Walsh, a childhood friend of the newly crowned IBO light heavyweight world champion, has overseen a run of five KO wins against step-up opposition since teaming up with the Belfast fighter, the latest an up-in-weight victory over an undefeated German Frankfurt.

Former Irish light middleweight champion Walsh, who retired just when rumour of a world title eliminator with Liam Smith was brewing, is the man behind the brave seek-and-destroy game plan. The former Belfast barber is also undefeated as a coach, is reigning Irish Boxing Trainer of the Year, and coach to the likes of BUI Celtic lightweight Champion Colm Murphy, soon-to-be BUI Celtic title challenger Owen O’Neill, exciting prospect Conor Quinn and Gerard Hughes.

And Donovan, who coached Jude Gallagher to National Elite success, told TG4 he also deserves credit for the Leon Bunn win: “Massive credit goes to Padraig McCrory, but there is someone else I want to give credit to and that’s his coach.

“Dee ‘Waldo’ Walsh who is a former professional boxer and retired undefeated, and retired very young, late twenties I think it was.

“He is one of the youngest coaches in Ireland and is coaching a lot of prospects. Padraig McCrory is probably his biggest fighter.

“He deserves a lot of credit, too. The two of them have been working together now over the last while and are having their crowning moment now – IBO world champion.

“And the opportunities that are going to come Pody’s way now, it will be incredible. Well done.”

Donovan, who defeated Frenchman Kahlil El Hadri live on the same TV channel to enjoy his stars aligned moment, believes there was a similar air of destiny to McCrory’s win, particularly after Bunn’s original opponent Daniel Blenda dos Santos pulled out through injury.

“It went so perfect for McCrory. And to think Leon Bunn was supposed to take another fight,” he said.

“It wasn’t supposed to be Padraig McCrory’s opportunity. Sometimes destiny is there for people.”

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