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Belfast boxer Aidan Walsh dominates to advance to quarter-final in Tokyo

The 24-year-old is one win away from an Olympic medal.

Winner, winner: Aidan Walsh.
Winner, winner: Aidan Walsh.
Image: PA

BELFAST BOXER AIDAN Walsh is one win away from a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games, having advanced to the quarter-finals of the welterweight division.

Walsh was dominant throughout his Olympic bow in Tokyo, producing a stunning, and clinical, win over Cameroon’s Albert Mengue Ayissi.

The 24-year-old prevailed on a unanimous decision at the iconic Ryōgoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium, for a welcome change of fortunes for the Irish boxing team.

His older sister, Michaela, is among those who lost their openers, suffering defeat in her last-16 featherweight clash yesterday. She was present this morning with the tricolour to roar her brother on, the pair having made history as they became the first brother and sister to box at the same Olympics.

Described as “world-class” and a “thoroughbred athlete” by Team Ireland’s boxing performance director and former world champion, Bernard Dunne, in the lead-up to the Games, Aidan’s journey is one to monitor closely over the coming days.

He now faces Mervin Clair on Friday, the Mauritian having just beaten fourth seed Zeyad Eshaish.

“It’s brilliant,” Monkstown ABC fighter Walsh, a silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, told RTÉ afterwards. “It’s amazing to get the journey underway.

michaela-walsh-celebrates-with-her-silver-medal-with-aidan-walsh

“I just take each fight as it comes from now. It doesn’t matter if it’s an Olympic final, an All-Ireland final or an Antrim title, every fight is as important to me as them all. It’s about listening to the coaches and the right tactics, getting in there an implementing them.

“The coaches got it right. I just do as they tell me and that’s it.”

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On his sister, Michaela, a vocal supporter, he added: “It’s amazing that she’s here. I love when she’s at my fights. She’s actually calmed down a wee bit, I think people have told her off in my last two fights! 

“It’s great support. Obviously I’m disappointed, as we all are for every boxer who loses out here. We’re all one team, we’re all just here to win and it’s sad when it doesn’t go our way. We’ll come back, regroup and go again.”

About the author:

Emma Duffy

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