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‘I truly believe that this year is my year.’ – Aidan Walsh outlines Olympic dream after defeating reigning champ Kieran Molloy

‘I truly believe that this year is my year,’ beamed Aidan Walsh after he registered one of the early victories of the latest installment of the National Elite Championships.

Walsh scalped reigning 69kg champion Kieran Molloy on Saturday nighjt, knocking out a genuine Olympic medal hope to not only boost his chances of becoming National Elite champion, but of potentially securing a slot in on of next year’s Olympic qualifiers.

After the pair threw down for three rounds, Walsh came out the victor on a 4-1 split-decision and was overjoyed with the result.

“[Molloy] is a great fighter and it was a great fight. Obviously it was the first time we have fought but we knew coming in what the fight would be like. We knew what he had won before and what he had done but we knew we could win,” the Commonwealth Games silver medalist added before declaring “I truly believe that this year is my year”.

When asked about being the underdog coming into the fight Walsh said “I never really focus on things like that, to be honest with you, I know what I can do. People always try and bring you down and criticize you but I can step up when it needs to be done and you saw that tonight.”

The brother of Olympic medal hope Michaela, Walsh declared his Irish champion intentions but is adamant his ambitions don’t end there.

The Monkstown fighter has Toyko travel plans.

“I’m here for one thing and one thing only and that’s to become an Irish Champion. I’ve always wanted to be an Irish Champion and last year I was very close to doing so, but that’s in the past.”

“I’m also focusing on the Olympics. I train day in day out. I have dedicated my life to this sport and since I’ve been a kid. I’ve always said I want to go to the Olympic Games and I truly believe no one will stop me from getting there”

It’s a big blow for emerging talent Molloy, who beat Paddy Donovan in February to retain the National title.

The Galway man does deserve credit for entering a tournament when he could have followed the path of some other fighters in Olympic qualifier pole by opting out.

Josh Reid McCabe

Boxing fanatic, part-time writer for the Star newspaper Email