Saturday 18 November 2017

Billy Walsh: "I don't want to come up against Katie Taylor..I've too much respect for her"

Katie Taylor, Ireland, with coaches, from left, Pete Taylor, Billy Walsh and Zaur Antia
Katie Taylor, Ireland, with coaches, from left, Pete Taylor, Billy Walsh and Zaur Antia
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Billy Walsh has admitted he will find it incredibly hard to be in the opposite corner to Katie Taylor if the Olympic hero meets any of his American boxers in the future.

Just days after master-minding Ireland’s best ever performance at the World Boxing championships in Doha, Walsh announced his resignation after eight months of negotiations with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) failed to come to a resolution.

Speaking with Matt Cooper on Today FM a short while ago, Walsh also outlined some of the day-to-day issues he faced during his tenure with the IABA.

The Wexford man will fly to America this week to finalise his deal to head up the USA women’s team and he also revealed that he has been asked to take on the men.

“Katie Taylor will be the favourite (for the Olympics). America don’t have a girl near that quality so for me, I have to get somebody of that quality. Katie will be one girl in the way and I wouldn’t like to be in the opposite corner because I have that much respect for her,” said Walsh on the Matt Cooper Show.

Walsh also confirmed that the Irish Sports Council drew up a contact, that he was happy to sign, after initial talks in August but the IABA would not ratify the agreement.

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“That happened in August after we made several attempts to make it happen. Kieran Mulvey and John Treacy brought us together and we agreed a contract but the IABA went back on it and didn’t agree.”

When asked why it was a problem for the IABA when it was the Irish Sports Council who were funding the contract, Walsh said: “That’s something you really need to ask the IABA.

“The non-financial part of the contract was really the one that I couldn’t sign. It’s a long process to go through it all but it didn’t allow me to do my job to the best of my ability.”

When pushed on the issue, Walsh added: “I will give you a simple way of looking at it. For me to have a conversation with you, or any member of the media, I had to get written permission from my CEO.

“Or for me to talk to stakeholders within the sport which would be the Sports Council or the Olympic Council, if I were to speak to any of them I had to get written permission off my CEO.

“To do your daily business you have to be in contact with the media and the stakeholders, it’s ridiculous.”

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