‘York Hall is my home’ says Ryan Walsh ahead of Golden Contract openers

Ryan Walsh is heading back to a happy hunting ground this week Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Ryan Walsh is heading back to a happy hunting ground this week Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

York Hall – the undisputed home of British boxing – has been good for Norfolk fighter Ryan Walsh – and he's hoping that trend continues when he steps out at the iconic venue on Friday night.

Walsh faces Hairon Socarras in the innovative Golden Contract featherweight event, which begins with eight boxers in quarter-final action.

"York Hall is my home," said the Cromer fighter, who has a perfect 10 out of 10 record at the East End venue.

"We've had some great nights there as a family where we've picked up titles, and it is a good stomping ground for us. I think all of the locals and neutrals will be rooting for me.

"There will be lots of fans there supporting different fighters so that will make it a good night, but I've got no doubt that the 'Farmy Army' will be the loudest and proudest there, so I'm looking forward to hearing them once again.

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"The build-up to this has been great and all of my preparation has gone really well, so we're on course to peak at just the right time. I'm really happy with the work that we've done and I'm really excited to be getting back in the ring.

"It's a solid line-up with eight good fighters, and it's a great boost that it's on Sky Sports and ESPN+ too. The tournament deserves a TV platform and I'm sure we'll all deliver."

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The draw was conducted on Tuesday, with each fighter picking a ball out of a bag. There were four red balls and four blue balls, with the fighters picking the blue balls able to select their opponent from the ones who selected a red ball.

Leigh Wood, Jazza Dickens, Socarras and Tyrone McCullagh all selected blue balls, meaning they were able to pick out of David Oliver Joyce, Carlos Ramos, Walsh and Carlos Araujo, who all selected red balls.

Walsh said: "I'm grateful, and I wanted to be one of the opponents who was picked, so I will see Hairon Socarras on Friday."

MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator Jamie Conlan added: "Leigh Wood and David Oliver Joyce stylistically is a great fight, but Ryan Walsh vs. Hairon Socarras for me will be the fight of the round.

"I was surprised that he picked Walsh because he's the betting favourite and the most experienced, so it's going to be a really interesting night."

Draw: Leigh Wood v David Oliver Joyce, Jazza Dickens v Carlos Ramos, Hairon Socarras v Ryan Walsh, Tyrone McCullagh v Carlos Araujo.

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