'It does worry me, big time, I am not going to lie about it' - Michael Walsh on his amazing record
PUBLISHED: 12:23 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:23 24 January 2020
Michael Walsh is plotting a two-step route to a British title shot - but admits he feels the pressure of maintaining his phenomenal stoppage record.
The 35-year-old made a successful comeback to the ring in December when he took his unbeaten run as a pro to 12 fights, all inside the distance. The last five haven't even lasted a round and his record has become a major badge of honour, even if it brings obvious pressure.
"I've managed to pull it off each time, but it does worry me, big time, I am not going to lie about it," admitted Walsh.
The Cromer fighter returns to the ring at the next Norwich show, on February 28 at The Halls, where he hopes to complete part one of his plan to gatecrash the British featherweight title picture.
"I have a plan, I have got a finishing goal," said Walsh, who looked to have given up the sport after a four-year absence before his return last month.
"If I win this next fight on February 28 I believe there is no reason I shouldn't be put forward for the British title. I have been around boxing for a long time. I might not have been constantly active but I have always been there, always been waiting on an opportunity, which I have never had. I don't feel bad for that, because I have enjoyed every minute of boxing that I have been in it, but as for title shots and opportunities in boxing, they didn't really come my way."
Although not set in stone, the featherweight title is the most likely route for Walsh, and might need the current champion to vacate - and that's younger brother Ryan, who has held the belt since September, 2015. The opponent being talked about is English champion Reece Mould.
"That's is the fight that has been mentioned and if it is, then I am game," said Walsh. "I want to be two fights away from that. I want to put a good show in Norwich first and then a little further down the line I want to bring the title home to Norwich because I love Norwich and I am very proud to be from here and proud for everything we have achieved in Norwich."
The bonus from Walsh is that if he gets the British title fight, part of his purse will again be donated to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, which cared for his young son Liam, who was born with heart problems.
Walsh fulfilled one half of his promise when he handed over £4,000 to the N&N this week.
Walsh donated the purse from his comeback fight in December, plus proceeds from an auction and other donations from the boxing world, to the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Great Ormond Street Hospital, where doctors treated Liam, who was born with a heart just 20pc of its normal size.
The 35-year-old visited the N&N along with little Liam, who is now 20 months old, and trainer Graham Everett, to hand over the money to the N&N Hospitals Charity and the team on NICU.
Michael said: "I just wanted to pay them back for everything they have done for Liam.
"I have had great support from Graham, and the promoter Mervyn Turner and referee Lee Cook also gave his fee and expenses along with the other officials. Liam has already had seven operations and he will be having another soon so I wanted the £8,000 to be split between the two hospitals where Liam has been treated."