“I’ve boxed Rohan Daté, I’ve boxed Shortty Carroll, I’ve boxed Crank Whitehouse, I’ve boxed Noely Murphy, me and Owen Duffy have done a few exhibitions, me and Keane McMahon have done a couple of spars, Martin Quinn too. I’ve done rounds with Darragh Foley, I’ve done rounds with Young Phil Sutcliffe, obviously, Deco Geraghty too.”
Martin Wall has been around the block once or twice.
A strong amateur and a boxing fanatic, the Crumlin fighter has had one foot in and one foot out of the sport during his twenties and has now made the big decision to turn professional.
The 25-year-old welterweight has linked up with Jay Byrne and will debut on the July 7th JB Promotions ‘The Beginning’ bill at the National Stadium in Dublin
“It’s always been something I’ve thought about,” Wall told Irish-Boxing.com. “I would have been training in Crumlin while Willie Casey was there leading up to the Rigondeaux fight and all those pro shows from Dolphil.”
Why now though?
Wall explains that “I’ve finished my exams so, technically, I’m a qualified chartered accountant. I’m only 25 and if I don’t do it now, I’m never going to do it.”
“It’s looking at lads that I’ve boxed making it in the game. Lads I’ve beaten racking up records and I’m sitting thinking ‘what the f*ck?'”
“I’ve still been in the gym training, in the club hitting the bag, and I’m still relatively fit, so I thought ‘why not do it now and why not do it with Jay, someone I trust’.”
And so, Wall’s boxing love affair continues – however the DIT graduate knows what’s what as he enters into the murky pro world.
“It’s like a drug for me, boxing, it pulls me back in,” he notes.
“Every couple of months I say ‘nope, I’m packing it in’ and then all of a sudden I’m watching fights, staying up late watching re-runs, the Gatti-Ward trilogy, Corrales-Castillo, Froch-Taylor Round 12, thinking ‘I’d love to be involved in fights like that’.”
“It excites me. I think a lot of lads are misled, thinking they’ll make a load of money, you won’t. It’s a tough game and you have to be smart about it. I can still make money from my job while enjoying the sport that I love.”
In this sense, Wall isn’t entering the pros looking to win world titles and make millions. Indeed he states that his goal is an Irish professional title to match his multiple Irish amateur titles.
Instead, Wall want to make memories and entertain fans – his own way of repaying the sport.
The Dubliner explained how boxing “paid for me to go to college, I got a sports scholarship, it paid my fees for my undergrad and then it paid the €10,000 for my masters.”
“Boxing has given me things that nothing else could have ever given to me. Now I’m looking to give back, to give back to the fans who love Irish boxing.”
Fans will certainly enjoy Wall’s style too and he described how “I was always that come-forward, aggressive type. In the last couple of years I’ve been trying to work on my boxing.”
“Don’t get me wrong, I do think I can box, I beat some fairly decent lads in technical fights, jabbing the head off them – but, at the same time, I’m more of an all-action fighter.”
“I want to be the type of fighter where I’ll break your heart before I break your jaw. Lads will be thinking when there’s two rounds left ‘oh my god, how is he still going?’ and I’ll be thinking ‘yeah, I’m only in third gear, let’s go’.”
“147lbs [welterweight] is the ideal weight, that will be the title weight that I’m fighting at – unless the lads at 154lbs [light middleweight] want to have a knock, in that case I’m good to go.”
Wall is massively keen to get in the ring with some Irish opponents, perhaps renewing rivalries with a few from the amateurs.
Much like manager Byrne, he won’t be one for protecting records and wants near-immediate tough fights.
“We’re at a prime time now,” he reasoned. “Irish boxing is booming, especially around my weight – but all the lads are out to fight journeymen, let’s see if they’ll want to fight me after I’ve had one or two.”
“That was the thing with Jay, fair enough the first one or two or maybe even three [will be journeymen] but, after that, I need to start delivering. I don’t want to be 7-0, 8-0, beating lads off a building site in Slovakia for the craic. I want to be fighting for Irish titles.”
“Lads are worried about protecting their ‘0’. There’s a couple of lads in double-digits who have fought nobody of note. For me, there’s no substance to that, you’re not going to look back at ten or twenty years. It’s about who did you beat, who did you fight, and who do the fans remember you fighting.”
“Jay is taking risks. People thought he was nuts fighting Crank [Whitehouse] and look how that turned out. That’s something that Jay, regardless of how the rest of his career turns out, can look back on – ‘remember that night?'”
“There’s so many lads I’ve been in with, so many lads that I’ve beaten, and I think I can do a job on them in the pros.”
“It’s a hunger, I want to be involved in fights that people will remember me – and hopefully keep a pretty face!”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)