Weight change pays off for team player Lois Walsh

The happiest of all the Irish Senior [Intermediate] champions crowned on Friday night was Lois Walsh.

The excitable Castlebar fighter claimed the bantamweight title by outboxing Emma O’Neill from the St Nicholas Club in Carrick-on-Suir, a win made all the more impressive as it came above her natural weight.

Runner-up at flyweight last year, Walsh elected to move up three kilos to facilitate young clubmate Kirsten Cresham who entered at 51kg.

Cresham would finish runner-up to former underage star Caitlin Fryers but Walsh, one of three Castlebar finalists, ensured that a title would be going West.

Walsh explained how “I moved up this year to 54kg because one of my team-mates is in at 51kg. I took the leap and took the chance at the heavier weight and, luckily enough, I ended up getting the decision.”

“I really believe that even though it’s an individual sport you’ve a team behind you and [staying at 51kg] would’ve meant that it was me and my own team-mate going against each other.”

“The way the club looked at it, we could have the opportunities of getting two titles instead of one and we were lucky enough to get one.”

Looking back on her fight, the refreshingly honest 22-year-old described how “I’d never boxed at 54kg and it was scary enough because I’m only walking around at 52kg, 53kg max, so going up to this weight was kind of scary.”

“I just kept it at long range because I’m no good inside! I just wanted to keep it long and once I saw that her head was going with the left I just kept with that. My coaches just told me to keep it up top, don’t go low, because when I was practicing and in the youths I usually ended up getting in close.”

“It worked in my advantage.”

While many of the champions on Friday night were declaring their intentions to target the Elite championships next February and promising they would be back in the gym today, Walsh plans to enjoy the now.

The Castlerea fighter outlined how “I’m in college at the moment and college is my main goal. Unfortunately I’m too old for the Under-22s, I’ll see what’s around the corner.”

“Trust me, I’ll be enjoying Christmas, I’m taking Christmas to enjoy it and then I’ll see what comes over the horizon in the new year and I’ll take it from there.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie