One of the most exciting fighters currently trading in the amateurs, the Offaly welterweight brings big power to the ring and big confidence following a brilliant 2017.
After winning her maiden Elite Senior title via stoppage, Walsh went on to win EU bronze in Italy – losing a highly contentious decision to the eventual gold medalist in the semis.
Now the woman to beat, the Sparticus slugger returned to the National Stadium last weekend to get her 2018 underway and defeated Ciara Sheedy in the Elite Senior semi-finals.
The 22-year-old explained to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards how “I was always the underdog but since last year, when I won my first Senior title and a major medal, I have a bit more of a name for myself. But, it means nothing. When you go in it’s anyone’s for the taking.”
“I do feel though that I’m hard beat on my best day, it’s just what Gráinne shows up on the day. I can make it as easy or as hard for me, it’s all about my own performance.”
Recent U-22 runner-up Sheedy proved a tricky foe early on, but the class and power of Walsh would tell and the midlander inflicted a count in the final round en-route to a unanimous decision win.
Analysing her performance, Walsh described how “I’d boxed her before and I wasn’t expecting an easy fight. People were saying ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ll beat her’, but I’d made the mistake before of overlooking and underestimating opponents and ending up getting beat because I’m not switched on.”
“So, I was just focused completely – a few of the parts of the fight I was switched off but, look, it was my first time fighting in the National Stadium since last year so it was about getting the ring rust off and making the final. The one time I did stick it on her, I gave her a count so, if I kept that up, I could have stopped her.”
It was another example of Walsh’s equalising power, and the number of victims of her left hooks and uppercuts continues to grow. However, the World and European quarter-finalist is also starting to bring the big backhand right more into play and she noted how “I feel like my power in this training camp has come on a lot because I’ve been focusing on my right hand. I was never confident throwing it but I have a lot of power in it. So, it was just about letting it go and trusting it.”
Tomorrow night Walsh will face Youth Olympic silver medalist and last year’s light welterweight champion Ciara Ginty.
The Mayo fighter edged past common foe Duffy in the corresponding semi, and Walsh believes her power may once again prove the difference.
“I’m confident going in,” she stated.
“I’ve high expectations and trust in my coaches and the tactics they’ll give me.”
“I know she [Ginty] is tall and she’s tricky and she’s got a good underage name, but I feel if I nail her with a few right hands it could be trouble for her.”