Ryan is out to reward support of Farmy Army

Chris LakeyRyan Walsh has paid tribute to north Norfolk's 'Farmy Army' as it prepares to head south again this weekend.More than 400 fans are expected to follow the fortunes of Cromer's Walsh brothers - Michael and twins Liam and Ryan - at Wembley Arena on Saturday.Chris Lakey

Ryan Walsh has paid tribute to north Norfolk's 'Farmy Army' as it prepares to head south again this weekend.

More than 400 fans are expected to follow the fortunes of Cromer's Walsh brothers - Michael and twins Liam and Ryan - at Wembley Arena on Saturday.

The travelling fans - who could be in for a treat when their heroes enter the ring - can make a huge difference, according to Ryan, who fights Ian Bailey.

'Our fans are phenomenal,' he said. 'I know that Sam Sexton isn't fighting on the bill any longer, which is a shame, but Sam was almost a bit of a bonus for them.


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'They will come down to watch us and from what I hear I believe a lot of Sam's fans are still going along to support us, which is terrific - it's good for us and good for Norfolk. Our fans are unreal. They have helped me in a fight before.'

The brothers haven't needed too much help in their careers - between them they have had 20 fights, 14 of which haven't lasted the distance. But it was during Ryan's last outing, against Michael O'Gara at the York Hall in October, that he felt the full effect of the Farmy Army's backing.

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'I was being lazy,' he recalled. 'I was winning every round. I got a telling off from Liam because I was either being lazy or I was just settling. I didn't believe the guy could go the six rounds with me and it was early into the fifth and every time I hit him it went a little bit louder.

'And no word of a lie, that is the only reason I ended up cutting him and stopping him on that cut, because every time I hit him they cheered.

'I hit him again - they cheered. It seemed to get louder and in a little place like Bethnal Green it made a hell of a difference and I did say a special thank you that night - you could see me on telly running around thanking them all because they really did have a big influence and fans can do that.

'Ricky Hatton mentioned about his fans, well at this level right now I would be surprised if he has got as loud and proud fans as we have.

'I am eight fights into my career and I've had one fight where I can say they have made a difference, without a doubt..

'We have to entertain and once I started entertaining they shouted. It was unbelievable and I will never forget that and to have that as a back-up plan I suppose you could call it, when times are getting hard - well good luck to my opponent.'

The Walsh brothers have yet to fight outside of London - and Ryan has plans to make their first appearance in Norfolk one to remember.

'I think my brothers have something planned for Wembley,' he said. 'You'll have to wait and see for that and I think the Norwich and Norfolk fans will be very happy. I've got something in the pipeline for when we finally do fight in Norwich.

'They deserve everything we can give them. They've been to the 02 which is massive, twice the size of Wembley, and without a doubt we had the best undercard support. They were unreal. I don't know how they manage to do it.

'These are our fans - we know them all. Some of our fans don't know a lot about boxing, but they know us. They see us in Cromer training and running on the beach and they wave to us and start following us. There must be a lot of jealous fighters out there.'

The Walsh brothers were named by their promoter Frank Warren among the top 10 up-and-coming fighters to watch this year - with the prediction from the man himself that at least three of the group would become world champions.

Walsh brothers fans can call 07920 114698 or 07788 734103 for tickets, which are also available from See Tickets on 0871 220 0260. Tickets for the 'Night of the Champions' are priced at �40, �50, �75, �100 and �150.

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