Old spice added ahead of Walsh brothers' big night
- Credit: Archant
Brothers Ryan and Michael Walsh top the bill at one of the biggest boxing events in Norfolk for years this weekend.
Michael, 37, promises all-out attack when he defends a stunning 100pc record of 13 wins, all inside the distance.
For Ryan, it is a case of treading a new path as the long-time former British featherweight title holder steps up to lightweight – the intention to win another Lonsdale belt.
Ryan, 35, has had a late switch of opponent, but one which has added a huge dose of spice to the occasion – he will now face Scotsman Ronnie Clark, who he crossed swords with at the same venue nine years ago, a fight which, controversially, was judged to be a draw.
It was Ryan’s first setback after opening his career with 14 successive wins, while Clark enjoyed a resurgence in his career three years ago when he beat Zelfa Barrett to become IBF European super-featherweight champion.
“All Ryan needs is a win to get back into the rankings and then we have been told he will be considered for the British lightweight title - that is the plan,” said trainer Graham Everett.
“Hopefully the BBBoC will be true to their word. Why shouldn’t it happen? He is as good as any lightweight out there.
“It would be great for Ryan to be a two-time British champion – that is our first goal.
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“He needs to fight now, he needs to get active now – but the good thing about Ryan is he has always lived the life, always been clean living and that gives him longevity. He hasn’t had a hard career, defensively he is a great fighter and he doesn’t get beaten up.”
Older brother Michael has rarely gone beyond the opening round throughout his career and his preparation for a fight against Brayan Mairena suggests he doesn’t want to start now.
“We know what Michael brings – and he will definitely bring the heat on Saturday night,” said Everett. “He is a serious handful. He has promised a war from the first second and that’s what it is going to be. That is him.
"In the gym his work is non-stop power.
“He is a character and at the end of the day this is what the fans want to see – good boxing fights, but they also want to see a good, honest, hard fight and that is what Michael will bring.”
The impact of Covid has made the build-up to Saturday’s show, at the Norfolk Showground, a bumpy ride - but expectations are high, with at least 10 bouts on the bill.
Rising star Emma Dolan, from Dereham, has a tough fight as she goes for the third win of her fledgling career, which began just three months ago. She faces former MMA fighter Gemma Ruegg.
“She is a tough girl – she has had two pro fights, won one, lost one but she lost to a very good opponent,” said Everett. “It is a step up for Emma, but Emma is good, she is a work in progress.”
Wisbech’s Joe Steed is back after a long absence, brought about largely by the pandemic, while Norwich’s Owen Blunden, serving paratrooper Connor Vian, Mikie Webber-Kane, from Great Yarmouth, and Ipswich’s Frankie Davey all feature as well as Lilyella Craw-Seaman, from Scotland, Henri Potter, also from Great Yarmouth and unbeaten Albanian Denis Nurja.
A win for Vian means he will get a shot at the Southern Area light-welterweight title.
The added bonus is that the show is to be streamed live, on www.ayozat.com, with the main fights being shown live on a Sky channel 191.
“It’s a bigger show, cameras in front of them and it is a learning process for the fighters,” added Everett. “But every day is a lesson – if you don’t come in the gym and learn something is wrong.
“All the pressure, we have it, they have it – everyone has to handle it.”