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Walsh upset by O’Reilly saga, but delighted to have secured USA medal

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Billy Walsh has admitted he is both sad and upset with the Micheal O’Reilly controversy.

Walsh, who worked close with the Portlaoise BC fighter when he was head of the High Performance Unit, said he was shocked to hear the news.

He also claims as a ‘product of Irish boxing’ he is disappointed with how the incident has reflected on the sport in this country.

“I’m very sad about it all. The man who set up (the High Performance Unit) back in 2003 was Gary Keegan and we spoke about it the other day. Both of us are shocked by it. We’re upset by it,” he told the Irish Daily Star.

“We’re very disappointed. It’s our sport. I am a product of Irish boxing. I don’t know how they (IABA) handled it. I haven’t been reading about it.”

O’Reilly’s expulsion  from the Olympic Games for testing positive for a banned substance has also been offered as a reason for the three Olympic defeats to date, but Walsh refutes those suggestions.

“Some of the individuals in the team are strong enough to knock it to the back. They weren’t involved in anything that went on.”

While he was upset with the O’Reilly controversy Walsh was delighted to have secured his first medal in his new job with Team USA when Nico Hernandez secured at least bronze.

“I don’t want to gloat or anything but that’s very satisfying. That’s my first Olympic medal with the US, so it’s special.

“I remember Paddy Barnes saying a long time ago that bronze medals are for losers, but we’re delighted.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years