Opponent named for Cromer boxer Ryan Walsh’s first British title defence

Ryan Walsh (right) on his way to defeating Samir Mouneimne (left) to win the British featherweight t

Ryan Walsh (right) on his way to defeating Samir Mouneimne (left) to win the British featherweight title. - Credit: PA

Ryan Walsh will be fully aware of the new challenge facing him when he defends his British featherweight title for the first time.

The Cromer's fighter's opponent has been named as Ryan Doyle, from Manchester, with the pair going head to head on January 22 at the iconic York Hall in Bethnal Green.

Walsh is eager to ensure the belt stays in Norfolk, but will be aware that while he goes into the fight as favourite, his opponent is bound to 'lift his game'.

The 29-year-old Walsh has 21 fights on his record, including a British title challenge against the world-ranked Lee Selby while Doyle, five years his junior, has been out 13 times, his most significant outing being his last, when he drew with holder Isaac Lowe in an English featherweight title fight three weeks ago.

But that so-called underdog tag won't fool Walsh and trainer Graham Everett.

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'He is a very decent opponent,' said Everett. 'He is an all-action fighter and we know from experience that every time a fighter gets this sort of British title challenge, they tend to perform above and beyond themselves.

'This is their big opportunity and they don't come along too often so they don't want to waste it.

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'But we know what to expect – the fighter at his best, plus a bit more.'

Walsh learned plenty from his narrow defeat to Selby, and will plan meticulously. Everett describes Doyle – at 5ft 9ins he is two and a half inches taller than Walsh – as a rangy fighter.

Walsh has already sparred with George Jupp, who is of a similar build.

'That was a piece of work that fell well because the opponent hadn't been named,' said Everett. 'Bit we will be ready, as always. Ryan always wants to be busy and is always ready.

'He is hitting his physical and mental peak, but will never stop learning – every fight he has emerged learning something.'

It will be Walsh's first fighting visit to York Hall since October, 2011, but this time he tops the bill – and it is a venue which holds good memories for the Walsh family. Twin brother Liam was involved in a spectacular dust-up there in September, 2011 when he stopped Paul Appleby to retain his Commonwealth super-featherweight title.

For ticket inquiries call 07796 206124 or 07340 100152.

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