KSI and Logan Paul in LA or Liam Walsh and Maxi Hughes in the home of boxing? You decide...
- Credit: Archant
Liam Walsh doesn't do social media - but he does do boxing.
While the man from Cromer was systematically tearing down the layers of Maxi Hughes' resistance at York Hall, the most iconic boxing venue on these shores, 5,500 miles away in Los Angeles the world was preparing to 'welcome' KSI and Logan Paul, two Youtube sensations who decided to bastardise and besmirch the noble art of boxing to settle some sort of phoney online argument, encouraged by the English promoter, Eddie Hearn.
While millions watched their antics online, at a price, Walsh and Hughes played out their latest career challenge to a crowd of around 1,200. Their purse for 10 rounds of hard work and skills, which has taken them all their adult lives to perfect under daily training regimens that only the very toughest of human beings can sustain, will probably be peanuts compared to what Youtube terrible twins (licensed as boxers by the California State Athletic Commission) took away.
But there was nothing phoney about Walsh v Hughes. Walsh's win puts his name back in the mix when it comes to looking at world titles fights. For Hughes, it will need some serious thinking about what direction his career goes next.
Walsh took his newly acquired World Boxing Organisation European lightweight belt back to the dressing room he shared with two other boxers. There was a loo and a shower - but barely enough spare room to swing a cat.
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A post-fight interview with trainer Graham Everett was outside in a corridor behind the stage that forms one end of the York Hall's boxing hall. You could see the ambulances in the car park outside if you looked through the brick-sized hole in a window.
It is spit and sawdust, and the British boxing community love it, they wouldn't have it any other way. It's a feather in the cap to say you've boxed at York Hall in London's East End, where the venue looks the same as it did decades ago but where the nearby railway arches have been converted into trendy bars and Vallance Road is just a distant memory in the rheumy eyes of the oldest gangsters in town.
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Hollywood it ain't. Boxing it is.