Liam Walsh to shine on controversial Dereck Chisora v David Haye bill
Trainer Graham Everett believes Liam Walsh has the perfect opportunity to remind everyone what he is about this weekend Saturday – on the year's biggest domestic fight night.
Commonwealth super-featherweight champion Walsh, who fights out of Everett's Kickstop Gym in Norwich, returns to the ring for the first time in 10 months on Saturday – on the undercard of Dereck Chisora's grudge match-up with David Haye at Upton Park.
A bumper crowd is expected for the headline act – who will also take in Walsh's clash with 36-year-old Italian Domenico Urbano for the vacant WBO European lightweight title.
After being offered a choice of weights, the bout will be Walsh's first at lightweight and while Urbano is clearly no mug – 25 wins with 10 knockouts from 29 fights – Everett is confident his own prize fighter can make up for lost time.
'I consider Liam a very special fighter and he can adapt himself to whatever we need to do – whatever Urbano brings to the table, I'm sure we will be able to counter it,' said Everett. 'The fight will give him a WBO ranking – he will probably move up to lightweight full-time but at the moment it just leaves options. It gives him another avenue.
'Super featherweight and lightweight are two fantastic divisions at the moment, even just in Britain. We've got a world champion in Ricky Burns and Kevin Mitchell, and everyone else. It's a great division to be in and this puts Liam in the shop window just a little bit.
'As far as we are concerned we've got a very experience former European champion who's never been dropped, never been stopped. So we've got a formidable opponent – but one we're looking to get past.'
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It was September 2011 when Walsh last fought, dispatching Paul Appleby after 10 rounds at Bethnal Green's York Hall to take the Commonwealth crown vacated by Burns. Since then Walsh has had to wait, and while a rematch with Appleby has been mooted Everett believes the rest has done Walsh good.
'Liam I think needed the rest,' added Everett. 'Obviously there was the loss of his father, which was very sad for all concerned. But he's a professional, got on with his work, trained very hard and he's definitely ready to be let off the leash.
'In an ideal world we would have been out earlier, but we are out Saturday and that's all that is concerning us. We are on a massive bill. There should be up to a 40,000 live audience at Upton Park, with the world watching, so it's a great showcase for him.'
The fight night has been surrounded by controversy since Haye and Chisora lost their British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) licences following their public press conference brawl earlier this year.
It led to Saturday's action having to be sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation, with their British counterparts angry at the pair's heavyweight bout going ahead and issuing threats to anyone else getting involved in the night.
'I'm sure the board understand like everyone else, Liam is a professional boxer,' said Everett. 'This is what he does. He's promoted by Frank Warren, and this is the fight Frank Warren has given him, so he's got to get on with it.
'None of us have got any beef with the board but we need to do what we've got to do, and that's fight.'