Tuesday 20 March 2018

Billy delight as Dean keeps Walsh flag flying


Boxer Dean Walsh. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile
Boxer Dean Walsh. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Former Ireland head coach Billy Walsh was keeping a close eye on proceedings at the Irish Elite Championships from the headquarters of USA Boxing in Colorado

And he was brimming with pride after his nephew Dean Walsh beat Derry's Brett McGinty in the welter final and also scooped the Boxer of the Tournament award - the second time he has won that accolade.

Dean's near-flawless performance was the perfect riposte to suggestions that he had no business trading leather with the bigger boys. The new 69kg champion, who had his dad Donal, Micky Keane and Dominic Fortune working his corner, won his three previous Elite belts at light-welter.

"I'm very proud of Dean, my brother Donal and my club St Joseph's/St Ibar's for the tremendous work they do in our community in Wexford town," said seven-time Irish Elite champion Billy, who won the best boxer award at the 1983 and 1989 championships.

"Dean's grandfather will be a very proud man, having nurtured him since he was a child to become a champion.

"I'm looking forward to following his career as he bids to qualify for Tokyo 2020," added the Seoul 1988 Olympian.

The 'old guard' of Brendan Irvine, Joe Ward, Darren O'Neill, Kurt Walker, Sean McComb and Walsh ruthlessly put down an attempted coup d'état by Ireland's next generation of boxers.

However, the young guns, including Patrick Mongan and Tommy McCarthy, gave coach Zaur Antia plenty to be pleased about as he prepares to name his squad for June's European Championships in the Ukraine.

Irish Independent

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