Callum Walsh [6(5)-0] is ready to stick two fingers up to those questioning Irish boxers on Friday night.
The LA-based Cork fighter has noticed some fight fans reveling in big defeats for Irish stars in recent weeks and thus feels a responsibility for the reputation of the sport in Ireland when he takes a step up live on UFC Fight Pass.
Carson Jones [43(31)-15(4)-1] in just your seventh pro fight isn’t quite as high stakes as Katie Taylor versus Chantelle Cameron for undisputed light welterweight status, it’s not Michael Conlan versus Luis Alberto Lopez for the IBF world title or even at the level of Gary Cully’s clash with Jose Felix Jr – but it remains a big step up high profile fight Walsh now wants to win for himself and his country.
Indeed, the Freddie Roach-trained prospect feels a responsibility to get a win for the nation and it’s boxing scene.
“I see a lot of tweets talking sh!t about Irish boxers, June 9th I’ll remind everyone who we are,” he told Boxing Scene.
“After the week of boxing that Ireland had, we haven’t had the best performance, I know there are another couple of up-and-coming fighters that are winning, too, but I do feel like I am the next face of Irish boxing. And I do have to, as well, especially because I’m over here in America. I want to win them over here and bring it back to my own country. So I do feel a responsibility to win for my country.”
To record that win, Walsh will have to overcome tricky veteran Jones, an American who threatened to upset Kell Brook, beat Brian Rose and will be remembered by Irish fans for his draw with Dean Byrne.
Although Jones hasn’t been in big fight action for some time, he still represents a test for a 6-0 relative pro novice going into 10-round action for just the second time in his pro career.
Walsh agrees he will be asked questions on top of the 360 Promotions bill at the Commerce Casino but is confident he has all the answers.
“It is a step up, but you can see from my last fight and every other fight, I need these kinds of step ups,” said Walsh. “But if you put somebody in front of me that is not really worthy of being there or is not a good opponent, I’m just going to blow them away within one or two rounds. So hopefully this guy can last a couple of rounds and we can get a good fight.”
“I haven’t been tested yet,” he adds. “I don’t think I’m at the level where I’m truly going to be tested. Not yet.”