‘He faces Ireland’s Aidan Walsh’ – Olympic medal winner not phased ahead of semi against Team GB star

Aidan Walsh has his sights set on more precious metal than bronze.

The Monkstown Madator became Ireland’s seventeenth Olympic boxing medalist by reaching the semi-final in the men’s welterweight division after a classy win over Merven Clair of Mauritius on Friday morning.

The win secured Walsh bronze at the very least and set up a mouth-watering clash with Team GB’s Pat McCormack.

The 24-year-old is more than happy with what he has achieved in Tokyo to date and the fact he has secured a place in Irish sporting history but isn’t looking to settle.

The Belfast fighter wants more.

“I keep getting better every fight and I want to push on now. I’m happy with the performance but I want to progress on,” he said after his second win in Japan.

“You’re always straight in for more and more, you want to be the best. You want to keep improving and I feel like I’m improving all the time. Thanks to the coaches I’m learning all the time, adopting new techniques and moving up the ladder.”

Waiting on the next rung of the ladder is old rival, McCormack. Not only is the Team GB fighter deemed one of the best fighters pound for pound at the Olympics he also holds Commonwealth Games and European Qualifier wins over Walsh.

The younger brother of fellow Olympian Michaela Walsh remains unconcerned and goes into the fight confident he can get one over on the Brit when it matters most.

“[McCormack] faces Ireland’s Aidan Walsh, that’s the way I’m looking at it! It’s just going in there with the belief that you can beat anybody, read tactics with the coaches, do what they’re implementing, and just keep believing in myself.”

Walsh goes into the semi-final clash with an injury concern having hurt his ankle while McCormack suffered a bad cut in his quarter-final clash.

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