Liam must wait for real away-day test
Liam Walsh is preparing for a home-from-home experience when he defends his Commonwealth title next month – although it could deprive him of an important part of the boxing learning curve.
The Cromer fighter defends his Commonwealth super-featherweight belt against home favourite John Kays on March 19 in Wigan – not far from the Walsh family's roots in Rochdale.
And with tickets are already selling in the north of England as well as the north of Norfolk, Walsh may not have to assume the full role of the 'away' fighter – and all that comes with it.
'I still have lots of friends and family up there,' he said. 'My mum and dad have made a few phone calls and I've made a few and already there's about 60 or 70 tickets on the way up there that are just about sold. We still have our faithful following from north Norfolk sop we will have a good turnout, just as we always do.
'The funny thing is with this fight I thought it would be nice to be booed. I've never been booed before.
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'Whenever I've fought I have always been the home fighter - I've always had the most fans, the noisiest fans, but I'm not sure if the away thing is going to happen this time.
'I was quite looking forward to getting booed and having water thrown at me, that sort of thing. I thought a hostile environment would be another experience.
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'If I do have to go to Scotland and fight Ricky Burns it will be a lot more hostile and going away like this could give me the extra experience you need to be a good fighters. Good fighters need to cross all bridges and this is one of them.'
Talk of a fight with world champion Burns is just that – talk.
'I'm honoured to be talking about world titles, to be honest,' he said. 'From a young lad it has always been my dream to be a world champion, then I would have achieved everything I ever wanted in life. If I ever achieve it, which I will do, it will be the pinnacle of my life.
'But realistically, you have got to give Ricky Burns respect. He is a world champion, he is now on his second defence of his title. He hasn't got me in his sights, he is looking for bigger and better things, he is looking for unification fights.
'I am not going to call him out, that's not me, I'm not disrespectful. But what does give me a lot of confidence is only three fights ago he was holding the title I am holding, so as much as I won't disrespect him ,it could be closer than what I actually believe. If it does I will snatch the opportunity with both hands – anyone would, and I would be ready for the job.
'But as it stands now I have John Kays to worry about. He won't be a roll over. In front of his own fans he is going to be the best he has ever been. I can watch as many DVDs of him as I want, none of them is going to be able to show how he will be up for the fight.'
• For tickets details call Liam Walsh on 07920 114698 or trainer Graham Everett on 07796 206124.