“I’m only starting” – Euro medalist Michaela Walsh sets new goal


Michaela Walsh has set her sights on World glory after this month adding a European bronze to the second Commonwealth silver she won in April.

The featherweight has established herself as a real Olympic hope with an exceptional year but has bigger plans for the end of 2018 and plans to finish with a bang.

The Belfast amateur, whose brother Aiden is also a Tokyo 2020 hopeful, wants to complete the set and add gold to the silver and bronze she had draped around her neck by finishing top of the pile in November’s Delhi-hosted World Championships.

The confident Walsh told Irish-Boxing.com that “my next goal is to become world champion at the end of the year. I have some time off now to relax.”

“Obviously the main goal is Tokyo, so I will be looking to improve everyday in the lead up to 2020 and use every competition as a stepping stone.”

The Monkstown stylist has enjoyed a break out year and has started to cement her name as one of Ireland’s amateur starlets. 

The improvements haven’t gone unnoticed by the fighter herself and she admits confidence is growing.

Indeed, Walsh is loving the game at the moment and warns that is when she is at her most dangerous.

“Yes [I am improving].  I feel amazing. I’m loving boxing at the minute and feel I’m getting better all the time. As they say, a happy boxer is a dangerous boxer,” she added before reflecting positively on a tournament in which she beat reigning world champion Alessia Mesiano. 

“I thought I had a great tournament. I had four really good fights with great opposition and I was really pleased with my performances. I felt that I was getting better with each fight and could feel my improving massively.”

Having beaten the World champ, were hopeful Walsh could challenge for gold.

Indeed, most felt she should have had the chance to compete for the top prize after her semi-final with Russian Daria Abramova including former Katie Taylor foe Sofya Ochigava who is now a coach with the Russian team.

However, the Belfast fighter was on the wrong end of a controversial 3-2 decision.

“Sofya came out with us for some dinner. She was saying to me that I was like a tiger in the ring and she believed I won that fight hands down, especially the first and third round.”

It was frustrating for Walsh, who also felt she should have got the nod in both her Commonwealth finals, but the featherweight doesn’t want to dwell on the negatives and is upbeat about her time in Bulgaria.  

“I was going for gold and came so, so close to achieving that but I have to take the positives from this and use it as stepping stones towards Tokyo. I proved I’m a big threat at this weight class and I’m only starting,” she added before reflecting on the semi-final decision.

“It is what it is, you can’t cry over spilled milk. I do believe I won, it was a close fight but I performed really well and deserved to win but I can take a lot of positives from it and move on.”

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