Billy Walsh's resignation statement
Published 20/10/2015 | 02:30
"It is with deep regret that I am announcing my resignation as head coach of the Irish High Performance Unit and senior team.
" Over the last five decades I have been immersed in the sport of boxing from boy to man and for club and country. I am hugely grateful for the opportunities that my sport has given me both as a boxer and coach.
"Since February of this year I have been engaged in a process with the IABA to secure my future as head coach with the High Performance Unit and senior team. A protracted process that went on for eight months included numerous high level meetings that resulted in various proposals.
"In August a fair proposal was developed under the auspices of the Irish Sports Council (ISC) that was acceptable and fair but then not subsequently ratified by IABA.
" I was hopeful in recent weeks that a final proposal arising out of an approach in late September by the IABA would lead to a successful conclusion but unfortunately it didn't.
"Regrettably, the IABA have not made it possible for me to continue on in the role.
"In starting out on this journey back in 2003, our ambition was centered on building a sustainable system for Irish boxing and I think we have achieved that. This has been achieved with the work of many excellent people including our outstanding club coaches who produce the pipeline of talent for us in high performance to work with.
"Our high performance coaching team contains some of the finest and hardworking coaches in the world, both those from international shores and homegrown. These coaches are part of the legacy of all the hard work it took to build this system.
"Zaur Antia, Jim Moore, Eddie Bolger, Pete Taylor, John Conlan, Billy McClean and Dmytri are well positioned to take my work and the work of the high performance programme forward and lead this senior team into Rio to compete for medals.
"I have the utmost faith and belief in them having worked alongside them for many years. I am certain our boxers will go to Rio in fantastic shape, ready to compete with the world's best as the high performance structures are in place to ensure this.
"To Emira who provides all our administration and logistics support and gets the team all over the world with little fuss thank you.
"We are moving in to our 14th year together as a team and I can say that, while there were many difficult and challenging times, I have never done anything in my professional life more rewarding.
"The boxers I have worked with (too many to mention for fear of leaving some out) have inspired and challenged me in equal measure and I salute their efforts, their courage and their amazing performances down through these last 14 years.
"I wish to thank them for their trust and support and for allowing me to continue in their corner for every fight they fought on the international stage. I wish them all every success in their endeavours and nobody will be more delighted to see Irish boxers succeed in Rio than me.
"To our outstanding sports science and medicine team of physiotherapists, nutritionist, psychologist, strength conditioner, performance analyst and doctor who for all these years operated and performed below the radar so that we could do what we did above it, thank you. This was always a team effort
"I wish to express my gratitude to the Irish Sports Council for all their support and commitment to the IABA High Performance Programme over the course of the last 14 years and most recently in trying to broker an agreement on this matter.
"The Sports Council have supported Irish boxing and worked tirelessly to find a solution.
"I am very conscious that the negotiations have dragged on for quite some time, but the time has come, with the Rio Olympics in sight and with no solution possible, to provide certainty to all concerned.
"Finally, I would like to thank my wife Christine and my family for all their support and patience during this time.
"While leaving the Irish team has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, my sights are now firmly set on my future role with USA Boxing.
"It is a huge honour for me as a coach to receive the opportunity work with such an iconic sporting nation that is the USA. I am greatly looking forward to the opportunities ahead in bringing my expertise and experience to the USA women's team as they prepare for success in Rio and beyond."
IABA accepts resignation 'with regret'
THE Irish Amateur Boxing Association has announced that it has accepted the resignation of Billy Walsh “with regret”.
In a statement chief executive Fergal Carruth – a brother of 1992 Olympic gold medalist Michael Carruth – revealed that the IABA will make a further announcement over the coming days in relation to the succession plans for the High Performance Unit.
However, the statement fails to address why the IABA and Walsh could not reach agreement about his future.
Carruth simply states that “Billy himself has made the decision to resign and take up a position with USA Boxing.”
The full statement reads: “The IABA has been in discussions with Billy Walsh following his approach to the organisation to seek improved terms and conditions after he stated that he had received an offer from USA Boxing.
“The IABA is deeply disappointed not to retain his valued services and, for the avoidance of any doubt, the IABA has done its utmost to retain Billy Walsh as head coach. However, Billy himself has made the decision to resign and take up a position with USA Boxing, and we wish him every success with this.”
“Billy has been part of a team within the High Performance Unit since its inception in 2003. We would like to thank him for the tremendous hard work and dedication he has brought to the role and acknowledge his contribution to the great success of the Unit and its boxers.
“Along with the other coaching members and support staff of the High Performance Unit, the focus, professionalism and dedication brought by Billy to his role as head coach has enabled the winning structures to be put in place, which has allowed our elite boxers reach their highest potential on the World and Olympic stages.
“On behalf of the IABA, I would like to reassure boxing fans that the exceptionally high skill levels of boxing being taught throughout the clubs of Ireland continue to nurture the rich talent required to succeed at the highest level.
“This conveyor belt of boxing talent will continue to be developed and coached by the dedicated High Performance Unit team, and the IABA is confident of the continuing success of our elite boxing athletes as they prepare for next year’s Olympic Games.”