‘People out there will know Cromer still exists’ - Mayor backs boxing twins Liam and Ryan Walsh to put town on map ahead of world title fight
PUBLISHED: 00:48 20 May 2017 | UPDATED: 00:48 20 May 2017
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Whatever the result, they are already considered local heroes. But victory this weekend would put north Norfolk on the map.
Cromer boxer Liam Walsh takes on Gervonta Davis in their world title fight in London on Saturday, while his twin brother Ryan defends his British featherweight title against Marco McCullough on the same bill.
They have both received civic awards from the town council for being good role models for Cromer. And now the whole community is rallying round again to show their support.
Proud mum Michelle and older brother Michael, who is also a boxer, will join the crowds at the Copper Box in London’s Olympic Park. They will be supported by the Farmy Army – the name given to the Walsh boxers’ dedicated following – for the showpiece double-header.
Mrs Walsh, who revealed she was their number one fan, said: “I do worry every single time (they fight), and first and foremost I want them to be safe.” But she added: “At the same time, I want them to win and I will be sitting, as I normally do, near to ringside.”
Mrs Walsh revealed her sons have been training for this day since they were schoolboys - and revealed they used to rearrange the living room to set up a makeshift boxing ring.
“They used to move my coffee table from the centre of the room and take things off my window sill,” she explained. “We’d be sitting in other room and could hear crashing and banging going on.
“At the end I used to find body prints against my window and I’d have to polish them nearly every day.
“In the garden they would practice their skipping and then they did running as well - every morning, every weekend, even on Christmas Day. It was constant from age 11.”
Jim Abbs has been leading the Farmy Army for more than nine years and joined the brothers for the weigh-in ahead of the title bouts. He described the sportsmen’s achievements as “unbelievable”.
“It’s going to be a great night,” he said. “We are all excited, buzzing, and I can’t wait. This has given Cromer and north Norfolk some great exposure, something which the area doesn’t always get.”
Cromer mayor John Frosdick said the Walsh brothers had the support of the local community, as well as the council. And he revealed everyone is backing them to win.
He said: “We gave them those awards because they are role models to the town. They are two young boys and what they have achieved is putting Cromer on the map. People out there will know Cromer still exists. It’s good for the young people around here because it gives them something to follow and I know the Farmy Army and pubs will be supporting them in the town too.
“As myself, the mayor of Cromer, I do wish them the very best and so do the town council.”
Local bookmakers revealed the town is putting their money on the twins to win.
A spokesperson for Betfred in Cromer said: “We’ve had over 100 bets on the pair of them and they vary between £5 and £20.
“The people of Norfolk know about these two and are backing them big time. It just adds a bit of spice to the fight.”
The action is being shown live on BT Sport and BoxNation, both of which are available to BT Sport subscribers tonight from 7.30pm. The main event is expected to start around 11am.
Readers can show their support by sending us pictures of themselves in a boxing pose on Twitter using the hashtag #farmyarmy