First things first says Ryan Walsh amid talk of clash with Commonwealth champion Jordan Gill
- Credit: PA
Ryan Walsh is reluctant to look beyond his weekend clash with Reece Bellotti – but admits a cross-border battle against Jordan Gill is a 'no-brainer' if he retains his British featherweight title.
Walsh's featherweight strap is on the line at the 02, with Chatteris boxer Gill – holder of the Commonwealth title – waiting in the wings.
It's first things first for Cromer's Walsh, but he admits talk of a shot at the Commonwealth title is unavoidable.
'I understand it and as long as there is progression that's fine,' he said.
'I never look past anyone and I am not looking past Bellotti but we are dealing with ifs, so if I do what I should do and what I am preparing to do on Saturday, then that is such a no-brainer.'
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Walsh has been beaten twice in 26 outings – once by Lee Selby, when the Welshman was one of the sport's hottest properties, and once, controversially, to Dennis Ceylan, in Denmark two years ago. Walsh is philosophical about the Selby defeat, not so the loss to Ceylan, a fight he lost on a split decision against a home fighter who, a year later, tested positive for use of cocaine.
'To me personally I stand here as the uncrowned European champion and that is something I really want,' said Walsh. 'I have not been lucky with the Commonwealth – I fought Lee Selby for the Commonwealth five years ago and they haven't even looked at me since. I haven't changed a weight division, I haven't stopped fighting decent fighters.
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'But it is a possibility – one that is all down to them. A lot of people have said they will fight me but when it comes to signing and getting into the ring it doesn't happen. Two world champions – a former one (Carl Frampton) and a current one (Josh Warrington) thought I was too risky, so we will see. I will believe it when I am stood in the ring with him.
'On my behalf I think the Commonwealth title is a little bit of a backward step. A belt is a minimum – ideally I would like it to be the European and if it is that I am double excited.'
What Walsh wants is simple: to dictate his own destiny, fairly.
'Everything is written – it's nice sometimes if you get to hold the pen,' he said.