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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Billy Walsh named world coach of the year after guiding US to Olympic glory

The Team USA coach helped the country win three medals at the Olympics.

Billy Walsh has thrived since becoming part of the US boxing set-up.
Billy Walsh has thrived since becoming part of the US boxing set-up.
Image: Frank Franklin II

TEAM USA COACH Billy Walsh has been named the International Boxing Association (AIBA) world coach of the year.

The Wexford native guided the US to three medals during the Olympic Games.

With Walsh in his corner, Nico Hernandez secured the US men’s first boxing medal (bronze) since 2008, while he also oversaw a gold medal for Claressa Shields and a silver for Shakur Stevenson.

The experienced coach had previously been a key figure in the Irish set-up, and was part of the country’s most successful ever Olympics in boxing at London 2012.

However, Walsh subsequently left his role as Irish boxing’s high performance chief in the months leading up to Rio 2016, with plenty of debate ensuing over the impact of his departure, particularly in the wake of Ireland’s disappointing display in Brazil.

“It’s a great tribute to the system I come from in Ireland,” an emotional Walsh told the audience at the ceremony in Switzerland.

Growing up as a seven year old, I never thought I’d be standing up here today, when I started boxing, receiving this award.

“(I’d like to thank) my family, who supported me all the time, and my new family — USA Boxing.

We are working hard to put USA Boxing back at the top of the AIBA table to dine with the best teams in the world.

“Finally, I want to dedicate this award to a man that taught me everything — my late father Liam Walsh.”

The achievements of Nicola Adams (Women’s Boxer of the Year) and Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov (Men’s Boxer of the Year) among others were also recognised on the night.

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Paul Fennessy

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