Dee Walsh landed the Irish title in explosive style on Saturday, November 22 by removing fellow challenger Terry Maughan in the second round of a scheduled 10. Walsh took home the domestic crown at light-middleweight and this victory may only be the start for the talented Belfast starlet. Dee has certainly turned his career around after pushing through a spell of adversity away from the ring to finally land his first major belt.

“Before I came out I was pacing up and down thinking about the future,” said Walsh. “I was beating my gloves together because I’ve never been so pumped up for a fight in my life. At the end of the first round I noticed he could take a few good shots but I knew that there were better shots to come for him and when I did really hit him it was going to be all over. I knew the end was in sight so I landed the big punches.”

The uppercut that landed flush on Maughan and started a final flurry that resulted in David Irving’s stoppage was not an accidental blow. ‘Waldo’ had been practising the same shot on former Irish champion Ciaran Healy in a pre-fight training camp.

“I was sparring Ciaran Healy a few weeks’ ago and I caught him some similar uppercuts and he was saying to me to make sure and throw a few of those uppercuts on the night. So it was in my mind,” he continued.

“Winning the Irish title means everything to me. I think about this time last year, not boxing and being depressed and stuff, then having Mark Dunlop come in for me. I’m just doing the best I can to make everybody proud. Next year I might go for other titles like the Celtic or British and get in to the Ulster Hall and keep building.”

Unbeaten Kildare man Dennis Hogan may be next in line for Walsh as the Australian-based boxer, who boasts a 20-0-1 (7 KOs) record, has been mandated to fight for the title by the Boxing Union of Ireland.

“Yes that’s no problem but we’ll have a wee rest first,” responded Walsh. “I hear he’s highly ranked with the IBF and stuff so we’ll see what happens.”

The 24-year-old was also quick to praise the fervent Devenish crowd and his opposite number, Terry Maughan, who arrived alongside trainer Carl Greaves to have a go but was rapidly outgunned.

“The crowd were at an away match today so they created some atmosphere for me. To be honest I was looking at Terry coming into the ring and thinking that he’s probably the tallest fighter I’ve ever fought. He took his top off and he looked meaty too so I tried to test him out early with a few right hands but I didn’t catch him cleanly until the second round. I gave everybody a round this time which is better than getting rid of him in 20 seconds!”

There are many reasons behind Walsh’s recent success, including the dedication and support of manager Mark Dunlop and his training team led in the St John Bosco gym by Gerard McCafferty. Another factor is down to Dee boxing regularly at his natural weight class rather than mixing with light-heavyweights as was the case before his ring hiatus.

“I only fought one light-middleweight in my first five fights and that was Gerard Healy who was tough. The next four have been at light-middleweight and you see what happens when I fight people at my weight,” he added.

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