Walsh set for return to the ring
Unbeaten Michael Walsh is to make a return to the boxing ring after an absence of more than two years – seeking to win a British title and beat off some demons at the same time.
The 33-year-old has a stunning 100pc record of 11 knockout wins, but has taken a back seat since April 2015 as his younger brothers, twins Liam and Ryan, have made major inroads in their own careers.
Liam is challenging for a world super-featherweight title later this month, with Ryan making the third defence of his British featherweight title on the same night.
It was while training with his brothers in Tenerife that Walsh was given a painful prompt that a ring return was in order.
'I was sparring with Ryan and he landed some body punches that had me near doubled over,' said Michael. 'I decided then that I needed to improve and it went from there.'
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There is another, much more personal, motive.
'I wasn't living a good life for two years,' he said. 'I wasn't training and I was deflated. Some days I felt I was on the floor.'
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Walsh will have his first outing in Essex in June and already has Commonwealth champion Robbie Turley in his sights.
Ultimately it is the British title Walsh wants – having seen both brothers triumph at that level on the domestic stage.
'Rob Turley has said that he will fight me for his Commonwealth title, which I respect him massively for. It will be at super bantamweight, which I haven't competed at for years.
'But I have been secretly training since January with my brothers. It started off just doing the camp with them really then Ryan nearly felled me on the floor with body shots and that really annoyed me so I decided to start training a bit harder and working a bit harder and before you know it I started feeling that I wanted to do it again.'
Seemingly ending his career with 11 straight KO's has never weighed heavily on Walsh's mind – as he never officially retired.
He said: 'I have never retired, never said I am done. I have gone away from the gym, gone home, told (trainer) Graham Everett I am done, but never let anybody else know – because I have always wanted the opportunity to come back.'