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Kurt Walker turns pro with Conlan Boxing and Top Rank

Kurt Walker‘s move into the pro ranks has been officially confirmed.

The featherweight talent has turned over and signed pro terms with Conlan Boxing, the new-to-the-scene promotional and managerial outfit run by former world title challenger Jamie Conlan and active world title hopeful Michael, as well as legendary American based promoters Top Rank.

The Canal BC graduate is the first of the Tokyo 2020 Olympians to make the move and enters the paid ranks on the back of a stellar amateur career.

The 26-year-old talent was at one time deemed the best at his weight in Europe, particularly in 2019 when he won European Union and European Games gold.

Walker went into 2020 as a massive Olympic medal hope but suffered a torrid year.

He suffered a shock defeat in the Olympic qualifiers in March 2020, just two days before the shutters went down on the London tournament as Covid-19 arrived on European shores.

Then his daughter was born on May 17, some three months early and a different fight began. The now ‘thriving’ Layla had to battle to survive in hospital for months.

Walker did manage to qualify for the Olympic’s via his ranking and competed content his daughter was healthy in the delayed 2021 games.

The new pro managed to register one of the Irish wins of the Games defeating Uzbekistanā€™s gold medal favourite and world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov to reach the medal bout.

However, he suffered the narrowest of split-decision defeats to Billy Walsh coached American Duke Ragan in the last eight, but still left Tokyo with his reputation enhanced.

Walker was entered into Septemberā€™s Irish Elite Championships but as expected didnā€™t box, – Adam Hession taking the 57kg crown- as rumour of his pro move began to circulate.

Walker was seen training alongside Michael Conlan at it became only a matter of time before some link-up was confirmed. That confirmation came this afternoon as Walker was revealed as a professional fighter and a Conlan Boxing boxer today.

The Lisburn fighter becomes Conlan Boxing’s first signing. It’s an impressive start by the family-run boxing business as they add an extremely talented Olympian to their roster. More signings are expected to be confirmed over the coming weeks.

Walker will be managed by the Conlan’s and joins Michael Conlan on the promotional books of American powerhouse Top Rank.

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 sports for a living for over 20 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