Callum Walsh just wants to keep on keeping it real after being in a ‘real’ fight late last week.
Walsh came out the right side of a highly entertaining fast-paced scrap at the Theater in Madison Square Garden, securing a unanimous decision over Ismael Villarreal.
A valiant Villarreal proved a massive step up for the early days Cork fighter and Walsh had to pass a test on top of the UFC Fight Pass broadcast 360 Promotions promoted fight card.
The Bronx native survived an early onslaught to take Walsh the distance, at times roughing up the Irish prospect and asking him questions throughout.
It was a tougher fight than most are given so early in their career, but the kind of bout Walsh wants to continue to have moving forward.
“He really came to fight, he’s a tough fighter. It took a little for me to get warmed up but this was a real fight against a real fighter, I’m not here to take easy fights,” he said.
“You’re bound to get hit at this level but I proved that I can fight and win tonight. I’m 22-year-old and this fight will only make me better. We clashed heads and he hit me low but it’s a fight so you keep on going throwing your best shots.”
Walsh also had to deal with suffering a knockout down in the final round of the well-supported fight. He took it in his stride got to his feet and finished the round strong.
Speaking after he revealed he wasn’t hurt, rather he went down under the weight of his foe.
“I wasn’t hurt from the knockdown, more of a push and a trip that put me down. You could see when I got up I was fine. It happens, I have a good chin. I thought I won every round but one or two.”
The war element of the fight seemed to be something the Cobh native enjoyed, although he does want to work on his defence and make sure he takes the right learnings from the 10-round WBC Silver International title defense.
“I wanted to get the knockout but I’m happy with my overall performance. I got hit too much which is something to work on. I’m going to learn and come back better. I was very happy with the crowd, there was a lot of loud support for both of us.”
Looking through promoter’s eyes Tom Loeffler, was delighted with the entertaining nature of the fight.
“Ismael Villarreal was a very tough opponent for Callum which we knew going into the fight. But this victory and the response from the sold-out crowd truly catapults Callum into the next level of popularity.”