Norfolk’s Ryan Walsh is already gearing up for his next title defence, just a few weeks after making the first successful defence of his British belt.
After winning the title via a closely fought split decision back in September 2015, Walsh’s first defence was far more conclusive and impressive – stopping Aberdeen’s Darren Traynor in the fifth round.
Those two fights were within four months of each other and it had become a bit of a rare scenario to see the featherweight fighting so regularly. But now, the 29-year old feels he has moved on from a difficult period – which centred around a loss to Lee Selby – and is confident that the fights will come thick and fast in 2016.
He said: “To begin with it’s great to be back fighting fit and being in tough fights. My last defence was probably my best ever performance and it was nice to get the attention from being top of the bill.
“I will never make any excuses anyway, but my last camp in particular was the best I’ve ever had. I learn and improve with every camp and I hit the scales bang on nine stone – I’m a bit of a perfectionist so that pleased me.
“My career was very stop-start for a while and it didn’t look like picking up. After the Selby fight, I became the ‘who needs him’ guy, with no promoter and no one backing me. The loss was hugely detrimental and it was easy for people to avoid me – it took me two years to finally get my mandated shot.”
Walsh has already outlined his plans to win the British belt outright – which involves making three successful defences – and next up will be Belfast’s James Tennyson.
“Straight after the Traynor fight, I said to my team that I am ready to go again, as soon as possible,” Walsh continued. “I work and am in the gym all year round, so just want to be active.
“I’ve just had a week in Tenerife and am now part of a world class set-up, with the best possible sparring. Things are picking up for me and touch wood it continues.
“As far as I know the Tennyson fight is next, but I still haven’t had anything concrete yet. I got eight weeks notice for my last fight and that’s the longest I’ve had – that’s just how it goes. I want to get it sorted soon, so I can start planning and being more driven in training. We have been trying to finalise the fight with the board and I should know very soon,” Walsh added.
“He looks like a decent boxer, but his last fight only lasted a minute or so. That’s no way to prepare for facing me or for a British title clash – but hey that’s his choice.”
Walsh is determined to not get carried away, but knows there are some potential clashes down the line that certainly take his fancy.
Isaac Lowe and Marco McCullough are two potential opponents and they will be competing for the commonwealth title on the Frampton-Quigg undercard on February 27.
“I’m a huge boxing fan and I like to keep an eye on my weight division,” Walsh said. “Boxing is all about the unknown and about who has you in their sights. I’m looking forward to the Lowe versus McCullough fight. Lowe has been quite vocal about wanting to fight me, so I have noticed him and I’ll be watching that fight, one as a fan and one as a potential future opponent.
“I’ve always wanted to win the commonwealth. I fought Selby for the British and Commonwealth, but then suddenly everyone was leap frogging me to those title fights – they didn’t fight Selby. I want all the real belts – British, Commonwealth, European – and then to look at the world scene. That of course is looking miles ahead and for now I just want the British outright.
“Ideally, I will have the Tennyson fight next and then face either Lowe or McCullough with the British and Commonwealth on the line – that would be perfect.”
Matt Horan is a lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123