Yesterday evening in Baku there was a surprising loss for Dean Walsh at the final AOB Olympic qualifier.
The light welterweight was defeated in his opening bout by Bulgarian Smetov Ismetov, thus extinguishing the Wexford youngster’s chances of reaching the Olympics.
The loss will be of huge disappointment to Walsh who, after a tense training camp, had been chosen ahead of Ray Moylette for the tournament in Azerbaijan.
For the Mayo man, yesterday evening’s result affords him the knowledge that, should he finish in the Top 3 at next month’s WSB/APB qualifier in Venezuela, he will be going to Rio.
Moylette had always been eligible for the tournament in South America, however it was somewhat unclear whether he would have even been given the opportunity to participate had Walsh qualified this week in Baku.
With his Olympic hopes bolstered, ‘Sting Ray’ took to social media and told his followers that “the hopes of a Nation relies on me.”
“I won’t let you down!”
The charismatic Westerner, who traveled to Turkey and Uzbekistan for APB fights to ensure his elibility for next month’s tournament, explained that “I have kept my head down over the last number of months and keep fighting to keep my hopes alive, Things didn’t always go my way but I still fought for every minute, just waiting to get my opportunity.”
“I took the road not often traveled to give myself the best possible chance of qualifying.”
With his Brazil dreams boosted, the Islandeady man contends that “nothing has changed.”
“I’m still the same guy I was an hour before I got the phone call, I’m still going for my long run in the pouring rain, I’m still up at 6:00am in the morning for work, I was always great I’m just getting my chance now to showcase it to the world.”
“Opportunity’s come and go for everyone, Disappointment is not getting the opportunity, Disappointment is getting the opportunity and not being ready.”
“I am ready.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)