Kurt Walker at Tokyo 2020 this summer. Bryan Keane/INPHO
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Irish Olympian Kurt Walker turns professional

Walker’s move into the pro ranks with Conlan Boxing and Top Rank has been officially confirmed.

IRISH OLYMPIAN KURT Walker has opted to turn professional, it has been confirmed.

The 26-year-old has signed a multi-year contract with Top Rank, and will be managed by Conlan Boxing – Michael and Jamie Conlan’s new Belfast-based company.

Having excelled in the Irish amateur ranks over the past decade or so — culminating in an appearance at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, while gold medals at the 2018 European Championships and 2019 European Games are other achievements of note — Walker will now hope to replicate that in the paid ranks, under the watchful eye of the Conlan brothers. The Lisburn native was coached by their father, John, as an amateur.

“Signing with Top Rank, the best promoter in the game, is a dream come true,” Walker said. “This will help me achieve my goal of becoming a world champion.

“Seeing how Top Rank builds their fighters into superstars was something that appealed to me. I also want to thank Michael and Jamie Conlan for making this a possibility, and alongside Top Rank, I have the utmost confidence that my team will guide me in the right direction.”

“Kurt Walker is someone who stood out at the Tokyo Olympics, as he has a devoted fan base back home and a style suited to the pro game,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum commented.

“He has a great team behind him, and with his skills and demeanor, he can become a major star in the sport.”

unnamed Top Rank. Top Rank.

And Michael Conlan added: “Jamie and I are delighted to announce our first signing. We believe Top Rank is the ideal fit, especially given their commitment to building fighters on both sides of the Atlantic.

“I’ve trained alongside Kurt for many years, and his talent shined through in the gym and at the Tokyo Olympics. Although Kurt lost to Duke Ragan in Tokyo, they are now under the same promotional umbrella. That is a fight we’d love to make for him down the road.”

Ragan, 4-0 as a pro, came out on top on a split decision in the quarter-finals at the Games; Walker having previously upset Uzbekistan’s gold medal favorite and 2019 World Championships gold medalist, Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov.

On top of his 2018 and 2019 European glory, Walker also took a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and three successive Irish senior Elite titles from 2015 to 2017 during his amateur days.


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