Brothers pack a punch
Three Cromer brothers are set to take British boxing by storm.Team Walsh - twins Ryan and Liam (21) and elder brother Michael - and an army of followers from north Norfolk will descend on east London next month determined to create history.
Three Cromer brothers are set to take British boxing by storm.
Team Walsh - twins Ryan and Liam (21) and elder brother Michael - and an army of followers from north Norfolk will descend on east London next month determined to create history.
Fighting brothers aren't unheard of - but a set of twins and an elder sibling fighting on the same bill will certainly be something new for the British television audience who will watch the Amir Khan-headlined show at the ExCeL Arena on February 2.
The Cromer brothers, who have come through the amateur ranks together with great success, will be making their professional debuts under legendary promoter Frank Warren, having spent the past six months adapting the skills that were first evident when they picked up boxing gloves as children.
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“We have had the bug since we were five,” said Michael, 23. “Our dad put a pair of boxing gloves on us one Christmas - and we haven't taken them off since.
“You couldn't ask for anything more than this. There is only half a stone from top to bottom between the three of us. For sparring it couldn't get any better - but are all talented in different ways.
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“We are competitive because we are trying to better ourselves, but if one were better than the other we would be happy - we are always happy to see one of us step up and do something that another one hasn't done.
“We have to live up to expectations, which we will. We have our stage, we are on TV and it is up to us to create a stage for ourselves. We are creating history and you have got to live up to it. It is no good creating history and not doing anything good with it, just being on the same bill as Amir Khan and not performing the way you should.
“We don't expect any losses so it should be a win-win situation all the way through, until we get to the top. The main goal is to get all three of us to the finish line.”
The brothers have spent the last six months being schooled at the Norwich gym of trainer Graham Everett, who has helped them make the transition from amateur to professional styles. “We couldn't have been in a better camp,” added Michael.
Tickets are available to watch the brothers - Michael at flyweight, Ryan at bantamweight and Liam at featherweight. Call 07887 844815.
“Graham treats us all differently - we are different characters, but he has it off to a tee, he knows what he's doing with us.”
Liam added: “Graham has done wonders for us. Since we turned from amateur to pro our styles have completely changed. In amateurs you only do four two-minute rounds and you have to be fast and move, but with Graham he has transformed our styles. We are hitting harder, settling down more.”
“Our conditioning is good as well,” said Ryan. “That's why we are confident because if you are doing it right in the gym it can only come right on the night.
“I am absolutely buzzing, I can't wait. It will be brilliant.”
There is inevitable competition between the three, although the living room of mum and dad John's and Michelle's Cromer home resembled a battle field at times - before they built a gym for their sons to spar in.
“There were a few ornaments broken until we got a gym. My mum's anniversary present, she got a crystal vase, and that went,” said Liam. “It was on top of the TV - and then she started talking about getting a gym. She wasn't happy.”
Ryan added: “Mum's brilliant, she has always supported us. We have wrecked her front room many a time, but she just shakes her head and walks off.”
The Walsh brothers are clearly that - rather than a set of twins and an elder sibling. When one is in the ring, the other two are there to support him. And while the competitive instinct kicks on, they take a realistic view that cuts out any arguments.
“I am better at what I do, Michael is best at what he does and Liam is best at what he does,” explained Ryan. “We are all different, with different styles. We are all good at what we do.
“If any of lose we all hurt, but when we win it's great, it's three times the buzz. But when I am in the ring it's easy - when I'm watching them it's horrible.”
Liam added: “We all compete in the gym - if we do tuck jumps we see who can do the most, if we are doing press-ups we see who can do the most, so I think without doubt we get the best out of each other.
“We are all madly competitive in any sports - if darts is on TV we will all go and play darts.
“In the ring, I'm taller and longer so I box and sit on my back foot. Ryan is stocky and aggressive and is moving in and Michael is a bit of both - he can box when he needs to and fight when he needs to.”