Freddie Roach begins training Irish amateur starlet

Cork’s Callum Walsh has already caught the eye on the U.S. West Coast.

The 2017 European Junior Champion recently relocated to California alongside fellow Rebel Tommy Hyde to train unencumbered by Irish lockdown regulations.

As he is not currently part of the High Performance Unit in Abbotstown, the welterweight had been unable to spar – and training in his local club Riverstown BC, or any gym, was off-limits.

Walsh decided to make the temporary move to LA – where his father lives – last month and has quickly come to the attention of seven-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach.

The Hall of Famer and coach of countless world champions has been impressed by the Irish 20-year-old and has brought him in to the legendary Wild Card Gym.

Roach currently trains the McKenna twins, Aaron and Stevie, although the COVID-19 Pandemic has prevented them from linking up this past year. Previously the Bostonian has been in the corner for the likes of Steve Collins, Bernard Dunne, Jamie Kavanagh, and Dean Byrne, as well as some of the biggest modern names in boxing such as Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, and Manny Pacquiao.

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It should be stressed that Walsh firmly remains an amateur fighter – although he is no doubt on the radar of big pro outfits.

The Riverstown ace finished runner-up to Belfast’s Aidan Walsh in what was his maiden entry to the Irish Elite Championships.

The recent recalibration of the Tokyo Olympic qualification criteria means this year’s Games are an impossibility for Walsh and whether he will want to stick around for Paris 2024 remains to be seen.

What is for sure, though, is that the powerful youngster is aiming for the Elite title – whenever that tournament may next be held – saying recently in an interview with Irish-Boxing that he had “unfinished business.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie