Sunday 17 December 2017

'I cried for many nights' - Billy Walsh on the emotional fallout to his decision to leave Irish boxing

Billy Walsh Picture: Sportsfile
Billy Walsh Picture: Sportsfile

Former IABA High Performance head coach Billy Walsh has opened up on the emotional fallout to his decision to leave Irish amateur boxing two years ago.

October 2015 saw Walsh take up an offer to work with the USA women's team after he failed to agree a contract with the IABA, with the Irish boxers performing dismally in his absence at the Rio games last year.

Walsh has already earned plenty of plaudits for the work he has done in America so far, with his role now including the male boxers, and in an interview on The Ray D'Arcy Show last night, the renowned boxing coach offered some of the reasons behind the acrimonious split that rocked Irish boxing.

Walsh was honest in describing how emotional he was following his decision to move to America, and added that he felt far from happy with the IABA contract offer.

"When I made my decision in October two years ago, there was no looking back," Walsh said.

"Now I cried for many nights in a room. I was at a training camp prior to the world championships and I knew then that it was over. I got a contract [from the IABA] that all I was managing was the gym.

"I had no control over any part of the program, which I had previously. No selection, I had no management at all over the budget or anything. I had designed the budget, designed the program, all of that. All I was doing was looking after the gym.

"At the stage, when I made up my mind, I made up my mind and that was it. For me, it was over."

D'Arcy then mentioned that the IABA had said how sorry they were to see Walsh leave, but the Wexford native wasn't having it.

"I don't believe that, they wouldn't give you a contract like that if they wanted you to stay," Walsh said.

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