Well-prepared Gráinne Walsh ready to go into Senior final with “all guns blazing”

Gráinne Walsh is feeling sharp, prepared, and is ready to take home her first Senior Elite title.

The Offaly welter comprehensively won her semi final at the weekend, with the win coming just a few weeks after her Under-22 title-winning display.

These two fights leave Walsh in a confident mood ahead of Friday’s final with Gillian Duffy.

Speaking after her win on Saturday, the Spartacus puncher explained that “I was happy to get the semi final. There are three at the weight so I’m happy to get the extra fight. There’s so few at the weight so it’s good to get as many fights as you can.”

“I felt comfortable in there. I’ve been training hard and it came together on the night, I felt very comfortable in there. Fitness was alright as well, I did tire a little bit but I would have kept going.”

“I’m coming off a good win, a hard hitting fight, so I’m very confident going into next week. I’m all guns blazing now, second Senior final for me, hopefully it’s my year.”

2017 has seen a change to the length of women’s bouts, and Walsh has had more adjustment than most. The heavy hitter outlined how “I’m just coming out of the Under 22s as well, I managed to get a straight final in that, there were only two of us at the weight, I was lucky there to get a fight at all. It meant I had a previous fight at the three three minute rounds rather than the four twos, and it’s suiting be down to the ground. It’s nice to have a round less, but you do feel the extra minute.”

It will be a second successive Senior final for Walsh and she is hoping to take home her first crown following a breakthrough 2016 where she reached the quarter finals of both the Worlds and the Europeans.

“I’ve been in two Seniors [before this year],” said Walsh. “I lost to Kelly Harrington at 64kg in the semi final and last year I was beaten by Clare Grace in the final, and she’s won a European medal. I’m getting closer now and I had a massive year in 2016, so I’m hoping to bring that experience through and take the title home.”

“I don’t really know much about my opponent to be honest, but I’ll leave that to my coaches for the tactical advice.”

“It’s going to be a massive night because all the men’s finals are on as well, I’d encourage anyone from home to come, it would be a very good thing to spend your money on. This is the biggest event in boxing for the year in Ireland, so I hope to have some support.”

Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie