Why Norfolk champion has received boost from inside Canaries camp

Ryan Walsh hard at work in trainer Graham Everett's Norwich gym Picture: Mark Hewlett

Ryan Walsh hard at work in trainer Graham Everett's Norwich gym Picture: Mark Hewlett - Credit: Archant

Ryan Walsh says he has been encouraged from news coming out of Norwich City as he bids to take one of the biggest steps in is career.

Ryan Walsh sparring with Alex Dilmaghani Picture: Mark Hewlett

Ryan Walsh sparring with Alex Dilmaghani Picture: Mark Hewlett - Credit: Archant

The Cromer boxer has seen his career put on hold since the coronavirus pandemic called a halt to proceedings in March, with a scheduled Golden Contract featherweight final against Jazza Dickens, which was pencilled in for June, yet to be rearranged.

The winner is likely to then have a world title shot, but both men are currently having to deal with the frustrations of a sport still largely in limbo.

However, Walsh says Norwich City’s announcement that they hope to be able to have 6,000 fans inside Carrow Road for the start of their Championship season next month, has given him a lift – especially as him and brothers Liam and Michael are always backed by a healthy and noisy following of Farmy Army supporters.

Walsh v Dickens may come tool early for fans to return, but Walsh is delighted to see football ready to lead the way for a partial return to normality.

“I think what happens with football will dictate what happens with boxing,” said the British featherweight champion. “With football opening up and the possibility of 6,000 going to games at Carrow Road, it will be great.

“If football paves the way, which it will, it would help us. Football could do us all a favour.

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“That news has made me really happy because this fight deserves a crowd. The fans definitely help you – when you look around and see your mates jumping up and down you know you are a part of that, and that is brilliant.”

Walsh’s work hasn’t missed a step, despite the hiatus, and this week had 10 quality rounds with lightweight Alex Dilmighani, who has a European title fight next month.

His last two wins - over Hairon Socarras and Tyrone McCullagh - have drawn high praise, but the Norfolk fighter believes his best work has often gone unseen.

“In my whole career I have always sparred better than I have fought,” he said.

“I have gone to the gyms of world champions and been more than happy, so this environment, without fans, might get the best out of me because it will be much more like the setting where I do my best work.”

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