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Not yet a King – Kurt Walker willing to take the hard road in pro journey

Kurt Walker will have to be crowned champion before he calls himself ‘King’.

The former amateur standout has been handed a high-profile debut date and will trade leather for the first time as a pro on Top Rank’s Sky Sports and ESPN-broadcast fight card this weekend.

With the debut looming, the Olympian has had to face dilemmas he never had to experience in his vest-wearing career.

Far from the most important things he has had to do over recent weeks but his fight gear had to be designed, ring walk music selected and a ring moniker picked.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com the Belfast talent revealed a laid-back approach to the things a lot of fighters get really excited about.

However, there is a nickname that stands out, Walker wouldn’t be adverse to ‘King Kurt’, but knows it’s a title that has to be earned.

“That stuff doesn’t bother me at all,” the fighter who some see as next in line for the Irish main man throne tells Irish-boxing.com.

“I’ll pick my song the week of and I’ve no nickname yet. I get called ‘King Kurt’ as a laugh but I’ll have to win something before I call myself that”

The Conlan Boxing-managed, Adam Booth-trained fighter’s excitement is reserved for more important things than short colour or how he will be introduced.

Walker has been handed a massive debut platform and will introduce himself to pro fight fans on the undercard of a huge tv broadcast Undisputed fight – and he couldn’t be happier.

“I’m buzzing with it,” he adds.

“I couldn’t ask for a better debut, it’s a big card filled with Irish fighters and I’m looking forward to a great night.”

The Top Rank-promoted starlet is joined on the card by promotional stablemates Kieran Molloy and Paddy Donovan as well as Eric Donovan.

The fact Bob Arum has gone big in terms of having his Irish fighters populating the bill bodes well for the future, it suggests the trio will be regulars on the American- based promotional powerhouse’s UK cards.

Walker believes that is the case and is confident he will be built into a big star.

“I definitely think they will,” he responds when asked if he thinks Top Rank will use him for the UK shows.

“Top Rank are known for turning boxers into superstars and I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Walker debuts against Jaroslav Hriadel [1(1)-2(1)] in Glasgow but the 26-year-old has no real issue with who he fights.

“I’m not bothered,” he says regarding the opponent. “I was never in the WSB [World Series of Boxing] or anything, so I’ve never fought over three rounds and I wouldn’t mind getting the rounds under my belt. It’s all about learning at this stage, but still, if the opportunity arises I’ll take him out early,” he adds before telling fight fans what to expect from him on the undercard of Josh Taylor versus Jack Catterall.

“Great movement fast hands and exciting fights.”

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