‘If he is stinking the place out I am just going to let the shackles off’ - Liam Walsh

Liam Walsh preparing for his fight against Maxi Hughes Picture: Mark Hewlett

Liam Walsh preparing for his fight against Maxi Hughes Picture: Mark Hewlett - Credit: Archant

Liam Walsh says he wants Maxi Hughes to try and knock him out – so he can stand toe-to-toe and send the Farmy Army home happy.

Walsh and Hughes clash at York Hall on Saturday night with the vacant World Boxing Organisation European lightweight title on the line.

The man from Cromer is desperate to avoid 'stinking the place out' at a venue he has graced just once in his career - a small hall classic victory over Paul Appleby a little over eight years ago.

"He is a good fighter," said Walsh. "He's a southpaw and he is a bit of a mover. He doesn't engage too much, he looks after himself, he springs attacks on you, he raids then he is back in his box again.

"If he is going to box like that - and I have watched a lot of his fights now - he isn't going to come and stand and trade with me, I know that. i hope he does, but I just don't see that happening, in which case, I hope it won't be a stinker. If he is stinking the place out I am just going to let the shackles off, whatever.

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"I just want the fans to have a good night and I want to enjoy it also."

Three years ago Walsh beat Andrey Klimov in a punch-perfect world title eliminator, but was far from happy with his night's work.

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"I didn't enjoy the fight," he said. "It is one of my best results on paper but I didn't enjoy it, but what am I boxing now for? I am boxing so I can enjoy it. I love the sport. I don't want to go and have a fencing match against Maxi, keep pipping him, nicking the tight rounds, and win 10 rounds and everyone says 'good performance', but I don't feel good doing it.

"It is not what I am there for. Hopefully he has a bit more of a go... he comes with a lot of confidence so hopefully he comes wanting to knock me out."

Walsh's Klimov success earned him a shot at Gervonta Davis for the IBF world super-featherweight title, which was to prove the only defeat on his record to date. His next outing will be the first real test since of his capability of getting back to that level again.

"It is a question a lot of people will be asking," he said. "They will be watching this fight with intrigue. It is a question I have asked myself as well. I am not invincible. I am 33 now, but I know I can. I think I can be better than that as well. Although I got to that level I made loads of mistakes, I still wasn't good enough, I wasn't good enough on the night, hence the result.

"I know I can be better than that and I feel like even in the last two years I have been in the gym I have been training and sparring so I feel I have learned a lot in those two years - you never stop learning in this game."

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