Michaela Walsh is adamant bigger and better things are to come.
The talented featherweight exited her first Olympics after a close and entertaining fight with old rival Imra Testa on Monday.
The reverse, although understandable considering the level of opposition, proved a major disappointment for those in the boxing know.
Having watched the Monkstown BC fighter establish herself as a world-level operator and consistently produce on both the domestic and international scene over the last few years, there was a genuine desire for the talent to get the recognition she deserved.
The extra spotlight the Olympic brings was set to change that – and there was a feeling that this was the European Games, Union and Championship medal winners’ time to shine.
A tough draw and opening opponent made sure that wasn’t the case and Walsh fell at the first Olympic hurdle.
However, the fighter is adamant that reverse won’t define her and predicts a bright future.
“This fight doesn’t define me and I’m looking on to bigger and better things,” a defiant Walsh said after her defeat.
Reflecting on the fight itself, the 28-year-old admitted it was one that could have gone either way, although she did feel that should have been reflected in the scorecards.
Breaking things down she added: “I felt I won the first round clear. My coach told me I was 3-2 up in the first round, I don’t know how, I felt I won it clear. She came on in the second round and going into the third round I thought it was all to play for,” she continues before wishing her opponent well in the remainder of the Games.
“She had her moments and I had mine, but she got the nod. I wish her all the best and I hope she can go all the way.”
Walsh and Imra had shared a win apiece against each other earlier this year, so knew what to expect heading into their Olympic meeting.
The Belfast fighter says the correct game plan was devised as a result but suggests it ultimately turned into a ‘what you like’ affair.
“I felt the coaches had the perfect game plan coming in and it seemed to be working very well. Sometimes you just don’t know what the judges are looking for. It’s a bit harsh when you hear a unanimous decision, but you have to take it on the chin.”
The Commonwealth Games medal winner’s brother, Aidan Walsh moved to within one fight of a medal in the early hours of Tuesday morning – and she is now hoping he wins a medal for the family.
“My brother now, just rooting all the way for him. Hoping he can take it back for the Walsh household.”