Age is no barrier for Walsh brothers
- Credit: Chris Lakey
Ryan Walsh doesn’t do revenge – and it seems he doesn’t do ageism either.
“I’m 35 years young, not 35 years old,” he said with a grin as he assessed his win over old foe Ronnie Clark on Saturday.
The two had met at the same venue – the Norfolk Showground - nine years ago, a fight that ended in a draw, much to the bemusement of the Walshes – Ryan, twin Liam and older brother Michael. And most others too.
The renewal of acquaintances was amicable, as far as fights go, and the mutual respect afterwards was a sign of the bond between like-minded boxers.
At 39, Clark’s career is winding down; Walsh is simply embarking on another as he sets off on a mission to bring the British lightweight belt back to Norfolk.
It would be a nice addition to a family collection that includes Ryan’s long-held British featherweight belt and Liam’s super-featherweight version. That Michael – also a winner on Saturday – has never been afforded the opportunity of a fight at that level perhaps say a lot about the politics of boxing.
"I think I can be British and maybe a little bit beyond - I should be aiming a bit higher, but the British title is a goal I can achieve next year,” said Walsh.
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“It is massive for me – and all my opponents are already bigger than me so at lightweight they are going to look like monsters, which I am happy with. My hero is Mike Tyson, and as a young amateur coming up he fought all the big boys, I am more than comfortable that I can do the business.”
Trainer Graham Everett said; “It was all about getting Ryan back and he got back with a decent fight. Ronnie Clark was a champion two fights ago so he is a good fighter and a hard man.”
Ryan’s win was top of a huge bill at the Norfolk Showground, with brother Michael, 37, going the distance for the first time in his career, but maintaining his 100pc record with his 14th win. Brayan Mairena was a tough opponent; he came through a couple of big Walsh attacks before a final-round flurry of his own that the Cromer man defied.
“Michael was okay at the end,” said Everett. “He is a lot more tenacious than people realise - he got caught and he got his way through it, but he rocked the other man numerous times. It was a good performance – he has been out for a while so I am happy with that.”
Emma Dolan made it three wins out of three, Joe Steed returned with a win after injury and a period when the pandemic forced fighters to turn attentions away from the ring.
Yarmouth’s Mikie Webber-Kane and paratroooper Connor Vian, who lives at Briston, were also among the winners, but Owen Blunden’s 100pc record was ended in his seventh outing when he drew with Lee Hallett after a four-round war.
“It’s been a good night,” said Everett. “Obviously I am disappointed with Owen at the end – you want the full house but a draw isn’t a defeat and hopefully he will learn from that.
“Emma will just keep working and keep building and get better and better. She is not an Instagram story, she is not a social media addict. She is a fighter, a boxer first.
“She is a private girl and she doesn’t enjoy that side. She doesn’t get as much attention but you will see she will punch holes through people. She is special.”
Ryan Walsh (Cromer) beat Ronnie Clark (Dundee) 59:56
Michael Walsh (Cromer) beat Brayan Mairena (Cataluna) 58:56
Emma Dolan (Dereham) beat Gemma Ruegg (Bournemouth) 60:53
Joe Steed (Wisbech) beat Jordan Grannum (Islington) 40:37
Connor Vian (Briston) beat Luke Middleton (Nottingham) 40:36
Owen Blunden (Norwich) drew with Lee Hallet (Canning Town) 38:38
Frankie Davey (Ipswich) beat Carl Turney (Bognor Regis) 40:36
Mikie Webber-Kane (Gt Yarmouth) beat Charlie Sheldon (Bury St Edmunds) 40:36
Henri Potter (Gt Yarmouth) beat Lee Devine (Camden) 40:36
Lilyella Craw-Seaman (Norwich) beat Klaudia Vigh (Budapest) TKO 3rd round
Denis Nurja (Albania) beat George Rogers (Leicester) 40:36