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‘No doubt’ – Bernard Dunne backs Kurt Walker to secure Olympic qualification

High Performance director Bernard Dunne has ‘no doubt’ Kurt Walker ‘will get it right’ and qualify for the Olympics.

The Canal BC featherweight had a golden chance to book his a golden ticket to Tokyo just before the European Olympic qualifiers were suspended last month.

However, he failed to follow in the footsteps of Irish team captain Brendan Irvine, losing in a straight shootout for a coveted Olympic spot to German slickster Hamsat Shadalov.

The defeat means the genuine Olympic medal hope has one more chance to reach the 34th Olympiad and will have to qualify via the World qualification competition

When that qualifier will take place remains to be seen, but Dunne believes genuine medal hope, Walker will be ready and will make sure he is present in Tokyo come 2021.

“Kurt is top four in the world, let’s not forget that,” assured Dunne when speaking to the Irish News.

“Kurt fears nobody and I have full confidence that he will get his performance right. There was a lot of pressure on Kurt, when you’re a European gold medallist, everybody back home expecting you to qualify…

“You have to remember, the European qualifier is the hardest place to try and qualify, there are world class athletes but sometimes it is just is expected that the Irish boxing team is going to qualify A, B and C.

“It’s a challenge, it’s extremely tough. He came up against an opponent who, on the day, performed better, but Kurt will get that right. I’ve no doubt about it. He has a second chance to put it right. Kurt’s an experienced athlete, he’ll know what exactly he’s got to do.”

Reflecting on the reverse Walker commented- “To be honest I would be [expected to beat him] on paper, but anyone who knows boxing knows it’s not as easy as that. Anything can happen on any day I haven’t watched the fight back with my coaches yet to see where I went wrong, but looking back on it personally I think it’s one of them things were it was one of his best days and one of my worst.”

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