“I’m getting better and better every fight.”
It was a great day for Ireland in the boxing ring at the Tokyo Olympics. Aidan Walsh secured a medal and world champion Kellie Harrington cruised into the quarter-finals after winning her opening bout of the tournament.
Aidan Walsh secures at least a bronze medal.
Walsh put in a controlled performance against Mauritian boxer Merven Clair. The Belfast welterweight won via split-decision, with four of the five judges in Tokyo calling the fight in his favour.
After his victory, Walsh, 24, paid tribute on RTÉ to those who helped him reach this milestone in his career.
‘It’s incredible. I watched those guys in the gyms all the time. Paddy Barnes, Mick Conlan… Seeing them coming back to Belfast on the big buses…
“The amount of training I’ve put in and the amount of sacrifices… My coaches, my club coaches, my family and girlfriend, everybody has given me so much support and I’m just so grateful.”
“He faces Ireland’s Aidan Walsh, that’s the way I’m looking at it.”
Walsh also stated that he was merely following the instructions of his coaches and he is not worried about his next opponent, British boxer Pat McCormack.
“I just do what the coaches tell me. They come up with a game plan and you just do it, just listen. Boxers say it’s like a computer game, they’re playing a computer game, I’m just the operator in it and doing my best to do what they’re telling me to do.
“I’m happy with my performance but I want to progress on. You want to be the best and I feel like I’m improving all the time.”
“He faces Ireland’s Aidan Walsh, that’s the way I’m looking at it,” Walsh responded when he was told he would face McCormack next, with the fight due to take place in the early hours of Sunday Irish time.
“It’s just going in there with the belief that you can beat anybody, with the right tactics and coaches. I’m getting better and better every fight.”
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 30, 2021
Walsh also paid tribute to his sister Michaela, who fought at the Games and lost in the first round but stayed in Tokyo to cheer him on.
“When I was younger, everybody was afraid of my big sister, it wasn’t a big brother. I would do anything for her and she would do anything for me.
“If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here because I would have stopped boxing. When I was younger, running about the streets, she was the one who told me, ‘Wind your neck in’ and saw the talent I had.”