by Chris Lakey
Friday, October 21, 2011
Ryan Walsh attempts to make it a special double tonight when he bids to add another championship belt to the family collection.
The 25-year-old Cromer man steps into the ring against Liam Richards at the York Hall with the English super-bantamweight title in his sights – three weeks after twin brother Liam retained his Commonwealth super-featherweight at the same iconic boxing venue in the heart of London’s East End.
And trainer Graham Everett is convinced Ryan is about to explode on to the national scene in the same way his sibling has.
“We haven’t seen the best of Ryan yet, not by a long way,” said Everett, who trains the twins and brother Michael at his Kickstop Gym in Norwich.
“There is a lot more in him. He is a very explosive little fighter and nobody has even seen anything he is capable of – he’s getting better and better all the time. Some of his earlier fights were against bigger, much more experienced journeymen –featherweights, even lightweights –who know how to fiddle a way through. They were nearly 10 stone, some of them, but you will see something different now he comes in at 8st 10. That is how it had to be in the early days of his career, but the simple fact is he is now down to super-bantamweight and he will now deliver – he is a very big super bantamweight.”
Everett says Walsh is a perfectionist with a simple philosophy.
“Everything has to be perfect with him,” he said. “If he throws a punch he wants it to land.
“He is a very tactically minded fighter and he really, really concentrates on what he is going to do.
“The big thing with Ryan is a punch must land.
“And he prides himself on his defence – his movement and his defence have improved so much. We really are very, very pleased at the moment.”
Liam put his brothers, Everett and the travelling army of fans from Cromer through the mill when he hit the canvas midway through his fight against Paul Appleby, before fighting back to record a sensational victory.
Everett is hoping for a less stressful evening: “Ryan is calculated from the off, but there is one thing for sure – if Ryan can get them out early he will,” Everett said.
“Liam Richards is 11-1. I have looked at him and he looks very strong, very fit and he’s quite a decent puncher. It is a good fight, a good challenge. It’s Ryan’s first title fight and we are all really looking forward to it.
“He deserves this chance – he’s 12 unbeaten so the next progress is the English title and then he can move on to the British and Commonwealth.
“I like the fact it’s a 10-rounder, I think that’s good.
“Sometimes a 10-rounder before a 12-rounder is probably better, although all going to plan it probably won’t go that far.”
• Tickets are priced at £40 and £60 and available from 07920 114698 or 07796 206124.