Ryan Walsh on avoiding banana skins - and why Steve Bunce was spot on

Ryan Walsh - the British featherweight champion is doing extra homework ahead of his next title defe

Ryan Walsh - the British featherweight champion is doing extra homework ahead of his next title defence Picture: Mark Hewlett - Credit: Archant

Ryan Walsh is a fighter who loves to do his homework - but he's finding the research material on his next opponent hard to come by.

The Cromer boxer faces Scotland's Lewis Paulin as he defends his British featherweight title for the sixth time at the end of the month.

Paulin has won all 12 of his fights - all north of the border, but it may well be a case of learning as you go along when the pair meet at York Hall on June 28.

"This is the least I have known about an opponent in a title fight ever," said Walsh. "I have literally got under a minute's footage of him."

Walsh admits Paul is a "banana skin" but insists that makes him more determined than ever to be vigilant.

"He is a real unknown," said Walsh, 33. "I know he has been in positions like this before where he has been the dark horse and he has got wins where he wasn't meant to, so I am taking him very seriously indeed, just as I do every opponent.

"It is difficult not getting any information - tactically it is difficult, but I think you have to learn on the job as we did in the amateurs, and the beauty of this fight is I have 12 rounds.

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"He is most definitely a banana skin - it is just whether I choose to step on it and I have never done that. I have always treated my opponents with the view that they can beat me."

It's an attribute recognised early on in the career of the Walsh fighting family - Ryan, twin Liam and older brother Michael - by one of boxing's leading commentators, Steve Bunce.

"It was probably as early as our second fights when Buncey said, 'these boys are always in really good condition and they treat their opponents like an in-form (Marco) Barrera'. I will never forget that. And nothing has ever changed. If anything you get better at knowing yourself and how to prepare."

If not exactly the tale of the tape, Walsh has used his ingenuity to size up his opponent - with a little research on Facebook.

"I know some basic stuff - I have gone as far as scanning a picture when he has stood against somebody else and the being able to work it out. Then there was a bit of gold on Facebook where with an ex opponent there was of a picture of him and then there was a picture of me with him, so I got a good gauge - no shock that he is going to be taller than me, you could guessed that but I now have confirmation."