It’s a belter as Ryan Walsh hands over his Lonsdale belt to his ‘guardian angel’ – brother Michael

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh won the coveted Lonsdale belt when he beat Marco McCullough – and promptly gave it away.

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

The Cromer boxer has vowed not to forget two of the men who helped him on his journey to the top of the domestic ladder – his late father, John, and older brother Michael.

Victory was dedicated to his father as Ryan looked to the heavens after stopping McCullough in the 11th round.

'I thanked him for being there,' said Walsh. 'He is always there on fight night - he is always there anyway.

'I tell anyone who will listen - one drop of blood has got more memory than all the computers in the world put together, and I have his blood in me.'

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Boxers defending the Lonsdale belt three times get to keep it for good – Walsh is the first to be able to do that since Billy Joe Saunders after his victory over Chris Eubank Jnr in November 2014. -

But almost as soon as it was secured, it was handed over to Michael.

Most Read

'It is the least he deserves,' he said. 'Maybe he wants one for himself but the point is he earned that. I can't stress enough everything me and (brother) Liam have ever done we owe to Michael - our first cars, our first gym equipment, everything.

'He is more than a brother - that man is my guardian angel. I am so lucky that is one of my biggest strengths.'

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Victory over the durable McCullough looked like it might have come earlier: Walsh had his man in trouble several times, but the Northern Irishman refused to buckle until the penultimate round.

'I felt I had a little bit of rust,' admitted Walsh, who will now looking for another European title fight as a stepping stone to a world title attempt

'The camp was perfect, I am the fittest I have ever been in my life, the best I have ever made the weight.

'I just credit Marco for his toughness. He was a very tough lad. He used the ropes well – if I could have caught him in the middle of the ring I think I might have been able to get him over, but he is a every tough man. I hit him with shots that have dropped a lot of my other opponents – he is one of the first featherweights I haven't put over, so fair play to that.'

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough.
Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Ima

Ryan Walsh celebrates his British title win over Marco McCullough. Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter