Liam Walsh: Britain’s most underrated fighter?
By Gav Duthie: Liam ‘Destiny’ Walsh 21-0 (14) proved he is more than ready for a world title shot after a dominant performance against former world title challenger Andrey Klimov 19-3 (9). Whether Walsh was attacking or defending, orthodox or southpaw he was completely in control over his rugged Russian/American opponent over all 12 rounds. Klimov was a great yardstick fight as he had only previously lost to top fighters Terrence Crawford and Jose Pedraza but Walsh did just as good a job as these superstars before him. Britain has 13 world champions at present but I would honestly say that he is one of the UK’s top 10 fighters.
Perhaps with the exception of a knockdown against Paul Appleby I have never seen Walsh break a sweat in competition. He is an extremely laid back character and boxes in both Super featherweight and Lightweight divisions with consummate ease. He is the current British champion at 130lbs and the also holds the 135lb WBO Inter-continental at lightweight. He has previously held the European title at lightweight and the commonwealth title at Super featherweight. Through the insistence of his management and promoter Frank Warren he has settled at Super featherweight where he is stronger and he should face IBF champion Jose Pedraza next.
A long time coming
Liam’s big title shot was first scheduled in December 2012 when he was scheduled to fight Ricky Burns who was then WBO lightweight champion. Burns was in great form after he’d knocked out Kevin Mitchell and Liam was only 13-0 but I would have fancied the English fighter. Walsh was in a car accident and had to pull out and only now 4 years later is he in a position to fight for one again. Unfortunately for Walsh Pedraza is no paper champion and apart from Vasyl Lomachenko is probably the most talented fighter at 130lbs.
A lot of Liam’s problem is a lack of exposure, he fought four times in 2010 but since then only once or twice a year. We need to see him fight for a title next and at age 30 some further big contests in the next couple of years. For now I think he beats Pedraza as good as he is and finally gets recognized as one of the most talented fighters in the UK.