(Image – Belfast Telegraph)
By Steve Wellings
Dee Walsh produced a boxing masterclass on Saturday evening to repel the threat of Poland’s Adam Grabiec over four rounds. Walsh’s 40-36 success at Belfast’s Devenish Complex was never in doubt but it was the manner of the victory, rather than the cold statistics of a unanimous decision, that impressed ringside observers.
“I wanted to put him to the test at the start to see how he took them and he did take them well,” said Walsh. “I had the cold beforehand and I couldn’t breathe through my nose from the third round so I took a step back and put on a bit of an exhibition to show that he couldn’t hit me. My pride got me through it. There were shots I caught him with tonight that I saw rocking his head and they would’ve knocked a lot of people out but he’s a tough boy.”
ENJOYING LIFE AS A FIGHTER
While Grabiec is clearly no world beater he did arrive with a reputation as a resolute operator who does not get deterred easily. ‘Waldo’ realised this early on and used the opportunity to showcase an assortment of tricks borrowed from a variety of legends. Over the course of the four rounds we spotted moves from Floyd Mayweather (Dee even sported a cheeky Mayweather-esque beard on the night), Sugar Ray Leonard and Roy Jones Jnr. Was there anybody missed?
“Sugar Ray Robinson and Ali,” smiled Walsh, clearly now a fighter at peace with himself both in and out of the ring.
“I enjoyed that fight and I’m enjoying life at the moment, being in a routine and getting up every morning for the running and with the training and sparring it’s all good. Watching those boxers and imagining yourself being like them obviously helps and that’s what I do.”
Walsh admitted pre-fight that the Irish title shot he craves could perhaps be left to simmer while he grabs a couple of tough stamina-building six or eight rounders. However, the 24-year-old is making it clear that a fight with current domestic king Peter McDonagh is something he is aiming for.
HUGE FUTURE POTENTIAL
“I would love to get the Irish title shot but I took a step back from that after it didn’t happen on the Frampton show so I can get the rounds under my belt. I want a six-rounder next that will hopefully go the distance and then maybe go for a 10-round Irish title shot.”
Aside from the entertainment factor and abundant talent, Walsh also brings a growing fan base along with him. Possessing the ability to shift a bucket load of tickets is vital to any young boxer looking to gain valuable ring time at smaller venues.
“I sold a load of tickets for a small hall show and it shows that people want to come and watch me. I’ve got power, I can make people miss and put on a show.You have to entertain people, keep them happy and wanting to come back next time. I’ll be back again in November and ready to fight whoever they put in front of me.”
Trainer Gerard McCafferty took the final word, reminding assembled members of the press about the sacrifices that this new incarnation of Dee Walsh is willing to make in order to fulfill his title aspirations.
“On Monday the fight was off as he had the flu and wasn’t going to be boxing but he’s a professional and he did what he had to do,” said McCafferty.
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