Cromer’s boxing Walshes are the pride of Britain
- Credit: PA
The Walsh family from Cromer had plenty of reason to celebrate this week after making boxing history.
Ryan and Liam have their names in the history books forever as the first boxing twins to hold British titles at the same time.
With Liam already the proud owner of the super-featherweight title, the pressure was on Ryan to complete the remarkable double on Saturday when he stepped into the ring at Wembley to take on Samir Mouneimne for the featherweight strap.
After 12 pulsating rounds – which included a standing count for Mouneimne in the fifth – there was drama when the three judges couldn't agree. One judge scored it 114-113 to the man from Hull, but the others went 116-112 and 117-111 to Walsh.
The announcement sparked amazing scenes in the ring as Ryan, Liam and older brother Michael celebrated, with hundreds of Farmy Army fans doing the same up in the stands at the Wembley Arena.
Those fans have followed the boxing brothers all around the country, but they could be rewarded with a show closer to home, with promoter Frank Warren admitting he was open to the idea of making a long-awaited return to Norwich.
'It was down to genuine hard work, simple as that,' said Walsh. 'I got a little frustrated at times – he was running, but we were there to fight and he was holding. I didn't get called once for holding.
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'I had him down and in seven I went for him again. Hats off to him, he was tougher than I thought. I didn't think he would last the distance, so full credit for that. But I knew I was hurting him. I couldn't get my uppercut off, he never stepped over too much, and I think I was a bit rusty, I didn't have much variety apart from my right hand – I couldn't stop landing that. I could be better – I have had 10 months out, two fights in two years, but I fought 12 rounds at a good pace.
'I am happy that I won the fight – I can't see how anyone could think he won with those tactics. That is how you steal a title, not how you win a title.'
It was Walsh's second attempt at the title; the last, two years ago next month, was ended by Lee Selby, a defeat which has haunted him ever since.
'Everything happens for a reason and I believe what happened that night has helped me tonight,' he said
Walsh dedicated victory to three men – his late father, John, twin Liam and older brother Michael.
'Number one my dad – because he gave me my brothers, he gave me my values. Without that I am nothing. Second to that is my soul mate Liam. Without him I am nothing. And Michael – he is my guardian angel. People spend their whole life looking for their soul mates – I was born with mine.'