'What makes me happy is fighting' : Ryan Walsh interview

Shaun Brown
17/02/2018 8:05am

Ryan Walsh tells Shaun Brown his British featherweight title challenger Isaac Lowe is a "very disrespectful young man" ahead of their clash tonight for the Lonsdale belt on the Groves vs Eubank undercard...

Ryan Walsh finds himself in his sixth British featherweight title fight, against Isaac Lowe tonight.

Having lost to Lee Selby in 2013 when challenging for the Lonsdale belt, Walsh now has the honour of being the champion and making the fourth defence of the title he won in September 2015.

"I shouldn't be here," said Walsh (22-2-1, 11 KOs) in reference to his fight at the Manchester Arena on the George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jr undercard.

"I don't think I should have ever been having my fourth [defence], but I'm so happy that I didn't vacate my British title. This is one of the greatest prizes I've won in my whole sporting life."

Walsh's career has been in a fractured state over the last year having fought just once, defeating Marco McCullough last May in his third title defence to get the belt for keeps.

Opportunities have arisen to fight the kind of names in the featherweight division that could have propelled him to the next level. The reasons as to why these fights didn't come off will have to be discussed on another day. Walsh, the consummate professional, is at his happiest as a boxer when he has consistency, but knows he has to find a way back into the picture at the next level.

"I've always wanted to fight the best, and I've always wanted the rematch with [Lee] Selby but I've got to earn it. But I don't know how to earn it when my face don't fit. The boxing gods have been definitely comedians in my case.

"I don't offer much other than a really big potential big banana skin. It's really difficult. All we can do is keep preparing and take the opportunity when it comes."

In Isaac Lowe (14-0-2, 5 KOs) there lies a big banana skin if Walsh is not careful. A 24-year-old supremely confident individual who is preparing to meet the champion head on and deliver what he thinks could be a fight of the year.

Walsh realises the threat the challenger poses but told BM that all the pressure lies on him.

"The biggest threat is the unknown, and what the fear will do to him, because this is his biggest occasion, his big stage. I've been in the big British fights. All the pressure sits on him and that's where the threat lies for me.

"I've got to prepare for an Isaac Lowe that no-one's seen. One at his most feared and should be at his best."

Walsh describes Lowe as "a very disrespectful young man", and likened to him to other fighters that he believes are only trying to stay relevant by attaching themselves to someone or some thing.

"Eubank did it with GGG, he was never going to fight him it was to keep himself relevant. Mayweather going into the octagon... they're fame hungry, strange people who I'd never be able to get on a level with them.

"I don't want no fame, I don't even want no money, what I am looking for is to be happy. What makes me happy is fighting, to be in good fights on big shows which is what I'm grateful for with this."