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Day of destiny... Cromer ring king Liam Walsh aims to fulfil world title dream

PUBLISHED: 17:16 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:41 08 March 2017

Liam Walsh  Ryan Walsh and Michael Walsh with members of the Farmy Army. Picture: CHRIS LONG

Liam Walsh Ryan Walsh and Michael Walsh with members of the Farmy Army. Picture: CHRIS LONG

Archant

When Liam Walsh takes to the ring to contest the world boxing title it will be the fulfilment of a life long dream.

Liam Walsh and Ryan Walsh with fellow Runton FC players. Picture: ANDREAS YIASIMI Liam Walsh and Ryan Walsh with fellow Runton FC players. Picture: ANDREAS YIASIMI

From the day he started sparring sessions with his brothers as a four-year-old the Norfolk fighter has believed it was his destiny to win the world title.

So there can be no doubting the Cromer man’s determination to head back to his home town as super-featherweight champion following his forthcoming bout with Gervonta Davis.

Liam and brother Ryan have already made history as the first twins to hold British titles at the same time. When not in training at Norwich’s Kickstop Gym, the pair enjoy nothing better than playing Scrabble and watching TV show Countdown.

Now they will be sharing the same bill at London’s Copperbox Arena on May 20 with Ryan defending his British title.

Liam Walsh will fight Gervonta Davis for the IBF super-featherweight title in May. Picture: PA Liam Walsh will fight Gervonta Davis for the IBF super-featherweight title in May. Picture: PA

A corner of the capital will be taken over by the twins’ fervent supporters dubbed the Farmy Army.

The 30-year-old credits his late father John and brothers Ryan and Michael for his success.

“I was always fighting with Ryan and Michael when we were children, and dad said if you are going to do that you might as well put some gloves on,” Liam explained.

“The secret of my success is my brothers and dad first and foremost and my trainer Graham Everett deserves great credit as well. I always believed it was my destiny to be a professional boxer and world champion.”

Gervonta Davis (left) and Liam Walsh go head to head during the press conference at the Savoy Hotel. Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire Gervonta Davis (left) and Liam Walsh go head to head during the press conference at the Savoy Hotel. Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire

He added: “The support is humbling, I wish I could explain it, but am not intelligent enough to put it into words. We have had the fans’ support from day one, without it I would never be in a position to contest the world title.

“I moved to Cromer from Rochdale when I was nine years old and see myself as a local lad.”

Liam’s close friend Jim Abbs has followed his career from amateur days. A founder member of the Farmy Army, he always expected the twins to achieve great things in their boxing careers.

“We are the same age and I was from Sheringham and they were from Cromer, so there was a bit of friendly rivalry between us,” explained Mr Abbs

“Liam has dedicated his life to boxing it has always been his top priority.

“He is exactly the same person, really humble and one of the most down to earth guys you can meet.

“When the bell goes that’s when he can turn nasty - nothing seems to faze him. Liam likes to be the underdog and will know every detail of his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses”

Both Liam and Ryan are occasional players for Runton FC, which is managed by Mr Abbs.

Ahead of preparing for his fight Liam found time to watch the team secure a place in the Norfolk Junior Cup final with a 4-1 win against Yelverton.

“We will be playing in the final just a three days after Liam’s fight - so May could be a big month,” said Mr Abbs.

“People might be surprised to know that away from the ring Liam and Ryan love playing board games like Scrabble and watching Countdown.”

Ryan Davis, who became friends with Liam when they were pupils at Cromer High School, will be among the expected capacity 8,000 crowd at the Copperbox Arena.

Mr Davis said: “We met on induction day and hit it off straight away and have been best friends ever since.

“I have been following Liam’s career from early on from when he first went into the ring.

“I am not surprised at all by what he has achieved, he has worked very hard at what he does and is totally dedicated to the sport

“He has not changed at all and I have never known him to smoke or drink.” “It would brilliant for the local area and for boxing in Norfolk if he could bring the world title back.”

Cromer mayor Tim Adams said: “Everyone in Cromer is fully behind Mr Walsh and wishing him the best in his world title bid. Both he and Ryan are synonymous with boxing in the town and what they have achieved is fantastic.”

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