Rising star Callum Walsh happy to have a big target on his back

Callum Walsh[5(4)-0] wants to create a target for his own back. 

The LA-based Irish prospect believes if he is the fighter other pros throw darts at on their bedroom wall it would be proof he is doing things right. 

Indeed, the Freddie Roach trained light middleweight hopeful, who fights for the first time this year in Boston on Thursday, believes if other fighters aren’t gunning for him or chasing him down he is doing something wrong. 

“I want to be that fella that people want to beat,” said Walsh. “If you’re not the person that everybody wants to beat, you’re doing something wrong. 

“That’s the only way you can get to the top level, by being so good that everybody wants to beat you.”

The likes of Leonardo di Stefano Ruiz and Jimmie Stickland have already called out the Cork light middleweight, obviously fancying a shot at a fighter with an usually high profile for someone so new to the pro game. 

Walsh accepted both offers with glee – although both fights fell through at different stages – and believes he is ready for even bigger tests.

“I definitely feel like I am ready for the bigger fights,” he said. “I know myself and I know my ability and I know that I am ready for those fights but, at the end of the day, I trust Tom and I trust the boys to guide my career. But it doesn’t matter to me. They just tell me when and where and I’ll be there to fight. It could be anybody; it doesn’t matter.”

The six-time Irish amateur title winner was most recently told to be in Boston to fight Wesley Tucker[15(9)-4] on St Patricks Day Eve at the  Agganis Arena, a venue that holds 6,000 people.

It’s a chance for him to increase his fan base and tap into a very Irish-friendly market, something he is excited to try and do.

“That is a big deal for me going to Boston with the amount of Irish people over there and the Irish people that are going to be traveling to Boston for the fight. Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to putting on a show for all these people in Boston.”

Walsh also has no qualms with topping an arena bill live on UFC Fight Pass with the likes of Danny O’Connor on his undercard. He has been centre stage so many times in his dreams that it’s like a second home to him. 

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “This is where I always knew I was going to be. I’ve pictured myself here in this position. I’ve pictured myself doing this. I’ve done it so much in my head already that I’ve pictured what I was going to do and how I was going to do it, so now that I am actually doing it, it just feels normal because I’ve pictured it for so long.”

The Riverstown BC graduate was initially set for somewhat of a grudge match with German-based Spainard Ruiz but faces a fellow ‘King’ instead. He admits he doesn’t know too much about late replacement Tucker but says that won’t prove an issue.

 “I’ve been around a long time, and fought a lot of people,” said Walsh. “I’ve fought every style, so I feel like I’m ready for anything. If I didn’t think I was ready, I wouldn’t fight.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years