Michaela Walsh planning to Fly through Olympic qualifiers

Nothing phases Michaela Walsh.

The patently unfair number of Olympic weight classes, and places within these weight classes, for Elite women boxers means that the Belfast flier has been forced to boil down to flyweight for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey.

Here in the Turkish tourist haven, the Holy Trinity fighter will have to reach the final to book her place in Brazil, or else face a make-or-break assault on May’s World Championships where a semi-final place would suffice.

The natural bantamweight would be forgiven for having some pre-tournament nerves ahead of next week’s trip to Turkey. However, the steely 22 year old told irish-boxing.com “I don’t really feel pressure.”

“I feel like if I perform, I can do it [qualify for Rio].”

Walsh also feels that the forced move down to 51kg may even act as a blessing in disguise in her Olympic quest, noting that “I feel big for the weight.”

“It’s hard enough getting down to it, but I have to with the Olympics this year.”

“I’ll probably go back up again next year, we’ll see how it goes anyway.”

The 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medalist recently finished up a training camp in Dublin and will jet to Italy for a further camp next week ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.

Sandwiched between this is a test international bout against French former World champion Sarah Ourahmoune tomorrow night at the National Stadium. Walsh is raring to go against the decorated veteran, describing how “training’s been going really well, we’ve top coaches here.”

“I’m in the mood, ready to fight!”

Tickets for tomorrow’s international are priced at €5. Doors open at 6:30pm and first fight (Walsh-Ourahmoune) begins at 7:30pm.

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