DEAN Walsh had more carrots dangling in front of him last Friday night than a farmer come harvest time.
The St Joesphs/St Ibars man was not only wanted to claim Irish Senior title success, he was keen to be one of only two punchers to defend their title, prove his talent by winning in a difficult weight category and wanted to beat an inform Ray Moylette live on TG4.
However, the biggest motivation for the boxer of the tournament was keeping his Rio 2016 dream alive. Walsh claims defeat in the Stadium in a decider with Moylette, who was sensational against Hickey the week previous, was essential in terms of joining what promises to be a talent packed Irish boxing Olympic team.
“Olympic qualifiers and the European games are all this year and I want to go to Rio. That meant I had to win this title if I didn’t defend my title that dream was most likely gone. That makes this win that little bit sweeter,” Walsh told Irish-boxing.com.
“There were only two boxers in the whole of the tournament defending their title and it put pressure on me because Michael won.
“Its the best feeling in the World to be best at your weight in the country and it is a weight division full of talent. You have Hickey and Moylette two quality and experienced fighters, then there is the likes of Nial Murray and Jason Conroy who are competitive too, so it is always a tough one to win and an even tougher weight class to defend your title in.”
The 64kg champion faced a fighter in top form in Moylette in the decider. The Mayo man had put in a sensational performance against former Senior champ Ross Hickey in the semis, but Walsh explains that performance proved somewhat of an inspiration.
“I had a plan going in to box him, but he closed me down well in the first round so I had to change and mix it with him a bit over the next two. Ray’s performance in the semi final was absolutely brilliant I used that as motivation. We watched a video of his fight and planed to box, but we had to change it a bit and it worked.”