Callum Walsh says Ismael Villarreal’s attempts to derail the hype train will prove futile.
The LA-based Irish Cork man defends his WBC light middleweight ranking title against the Bronx native on Thursday and the fighter with seven stoppage wins from eight fights says he will steamroll his way to victory at the Theater in Madison Square Garden.
Villarreal certainly represents the toughest test of the Cork prospect’s career to date and Walsh expects him to come and have a go, but the confident Freddie Roach-trained star in the making is promising a stoppage win.
Walsh assures he’ll produce a performance worthy of an MSG headliner and put on a big show in the Big Apple.
“I’m expecting him to show up and fight and to try and beat me. He’s young, he’s from New York and he won’t want to lose in the place he’s from,” said Walsh.
“I’m expecting him to have a big crowd with him and I’m expecting him to come out strong and to try and prove a point.
“I expect everybody I fight to come out at a higher level to try to be the fella that beats me. Especially for a young opponent like this, he obviously wants to prove a point and make a name for himself.
“Anyone that fights me wants to put an end to all this hype and they want to prove that they are the next big thing and it’s not me. So I’m expecting him to come out strong. But I’m coming out strong, too: I’m expecting a knock-out.
“I’m going to try and finish him and make a big statement in New York.”
The 22-year-old’s promoter Tom Loeffler – who has worked with famous boxers like the Klitschko brothers and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin – said that a fight at the Madison Square Garden shows how highly the team rates the Rebel County boxer. The 360 Promotions boss also believes it could be a launch pad for his career.
He said: “When you really want to launch a fighter’s career, you fight in New York at Madison Square Garden. It’s the media capital of the world – anything that happens in New York City really gets highlighted.
“It’s definitely a big financial commitment on our side – it’s not cheap going to Madison Square Garden that’s for sure. But we’re all in with Callum and this is going to be a big statement, a coming-out party.
Speaking on his New York and MSG debut Walsh said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the Irish out there turn up but I don’t feel the pressure. I’m going to enjoy it.
“I’ll be a bit nervous on the night probably, but I want to enjoy myself. That’s the main thing for me about my career, I want to live every moment and take it as it goes, enjoying it while it lasts.
“I’m 22 years old and I’m going to headline Madison Square Garden already, I can’t really believe it.”