Michaela Walsh promises early Olympic qualification following another Irish triumph


Having cemented her status as the best in Ireland by winning her eighth National Elite title in the National Stadium Michaela Walsh is now ready to prove she is the best featherweight in the world and thus secure Olympic qualification.

The Monkstown fighter defeated Dervla Duffy, a fighter she outscored to win her first title against as a 17-year-old, to claim domestic honours yet again.

The talented fighter was more than pleased with her win, especially as it brought to an end a period out injured, but is focusing on bigger things in 2019.

Domestic dominance is no longer enough for the success thirsty talent. The EU gold, European bronze, and double Commonwealth Games silver medallist now wants to prove she is one of the best in the world and plans to do that en-route to Tokyo this year.

“I am going to qualify for the Olympic Games this year,” Walsh promised Irish-Boxing.com ahead of a year which includes European and World Championships.

“That’s been the goal from day one. Last time at 51kg it just didn’t work out. I believe on my day I am the best featherweight in the world it’s just about proving that now.”

The win came in the Belfast fighter’s first outlines of 2019 as Walsh had to recover from an injury – which kept her out of the Ulster Seniors – and she detailed just how much effort she put into getting back to full fitness.

“Dervla came on a good bit there and it was a good fight. That was my first fight since the World Championships. I was injured after that too so I couldn’t punch for a while, but I got back sparring, getting world class sparring and it’s paid off.”

“We put a lot of work into being prepared and as I said it paid off.  Myself, Paul [Johnston], and my Dad have been all around Ireland getting sparring.”

While it was a good day for 25-year-old Walsh as she added to her collection of success, but she feels it could have been better for the boxing family.

The featherweight argues her younger brother, Aidan, was hard done by not to be fighting on the same Senior finals bill as her having lost out to Paddy Donovan in the men’s 69kg semi final and therefore dedicated the victory to her sibling.

The elder Walsh said that “that title there tonight is for my brother. He should be winning one tonight, I have seven others he can have this one.”

“He should have been in the final and I think he would have won it. That’s the way it goes he is only 21 he will learn from it and come back.”

“Look at Kelly [Harrington] she is 29 now and was a long time knocking at the door. Now she is World champion, it goes to show you that you get the just rewards for the work you put in.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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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 sport for a living for 19 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: [email protected]