Pound4poundireland’s May 23rd POUND FOR POUND top 10

1. Oleksandr Usyk

2. Naoya Inoue

3. Dmitry Bivol

4. Juan Francisco Estrada

5. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

6. Gervonta Davis

7. Terence Crawford

8. Artur Beterbiev

9. Devin Haney

10. Shakur Stevenson

  • #6 Errol Spence and #10 Jermell Charlo both exit due to inactivity of over one year and without a fight scheduled.
  • Devin Haney re-enters at #9 off his disputed win over former number one Vasyl Lomachenko. Shakur Stevenson enters at #10.

Pound4poundireland’s May 23rd Female Boxing POUND FOR POUND top 10

1. Claressa Shields

2. Chantelle Cameron

3. Katie Taylor

4. Amanda Serrano

5. Alycia Baumgardner

6. Seniesa Estrada

7. Jessica McCaskill

8. Yokasta Valle

9. Mikaela Mayer

10. Jessica Nery Plata

  • Chantelle Cameron rises three places to number 2 after spoiling pound for pound queen Katie Taylor’s homecoming in Dublin with a brilliant majority decision win. Credit to both women for putting it all on the line and daring to fight the best.
  • Cameron will be firm favourite in a rematch but, whether at 140 or 135lbs. or whether at Croke Park or not, it will be a fascinating return.
  • Claressa Shields is the new number 1 and right now, lack of competition in her weight divisions aside, it’s hard to see her being knocked off the top.

Pound4poundireland’s April 23rd POUND FOR POUND top 10

1. Oleksandr Usyk

2. Naoya Inoue

3. Dmitry Bivol

4. Juan Francisco Estrada

5. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

6. Errol Spence

7. Gervonta Davis

8. Terence Crawford

9. Artur Beterbiev

10. Jermell Charlo

  • It would be easy to overreact to Gervonta Davis’ stirring 7th round knockout of Ryan Garcia in last night’s super fight. After all, King Ry is a star but who has he ever beaten? However, Davis’ evident talent, huge punch and impressive activity level (especially in contrast to the lack of ring time from many of the top names in the sport) deserve recognition at the top level of the sport. He enters at #7.
  • Devin Haney exits for now but will have his chance to rubber stamp his resume when he takes on former pound for pound number one Vasyl Lomachenko next month.

April 20th’s Random Boxing Rants

On April 1st in Dublin, a new name from Kerry joined the pro ranks with a first round stoppage: 21 year old light welterweight Paddy Walsh.
Here he is profiled for irish-boxing.com: 
Paddy is the older brother of 5-0-2 light middleweight Liam, who notched his second stoppage on the same card. Keep a look out in the future for an interview with Paddy here on the site.
That Dublin show was the first of three to take place in the Republic this month, alongside a Neil Power bill in Waterford and tomorrow’s Conlan boxing show in Galway.
It’s exciting times, and next up to bat is Tommy Hyde for his belated pro homecoming to Cork city in June. 
Speaking of that Conlan boxing show in Galway, it will be streamed in this part of the world free on YouTube by Boxing Social:
The highlight for me is Kerry boxer Kevin Cronin’s crunch rematch with Jamie Morrissey for the Irish super middleweight title. Win or lose, I’ll be catching up with Kevin post-fight here soon.
So with Alberto Puello the latest boxer to fall ‘fowl’ of, ahem, contaminated eggs, it looks like Rolly Romero, fresh off a viral video of getting knocked out in sparring, will be an unlikely 140lb. world titlist.
That’s because his new opponent for the belt is likely to be 4o year old Ismael Barroso, a full 7 years after he was stopped by Anthony Crolla and having lost twice more in the interim. Only in boxing.
Wishing a great retirement to Bilbao’s action warrior Kerman Lejarraga. 
It’s apropos that a Brit Basher Hall of Fame nominee should have his career ended by Liverpool’s James Metcalf. 
‘Big Bang’ Zhang versus ‘The Juggernaut’ Joe Joyce was as fun as we could have hoped for. 
Chinese Power won out for a memorable upset, and, while a lot of criticism has been levied at Joyce for his weaknesses being exposed, I prefer to focus on the positive. We went into the fight with one must-see heavyweight to focus on, and emerged with two. I can’t wait to see what both men do next. 
Orale Guatemala!


March 23rd’s Random Boxing Rants

DK and AB — Only in America.


It’s weird to see Teddy Atlas pivot so strongly towards MMA, a sport he knows little to nothing about from a technical standpoint.

It would be like a top soccer manager suddenly fashioning himself into a tennis pundit.


I’m trying to to stay positive.

I think Fury-Usyk happens someday when they can schedule it in $audi, and Fulton-Inoue should be rescheduled without much fuss.

I’m also really excited with one month to go until Tank Davis-Ryan Garcia, a super fight I did not think would get made at this stage of their careers. I’m so glad to be proven wrong.

Interview with unbeaten Kerry light middleweight Liam Walsh

I spoke again with 20 year old Kenmare boxer Liam Walsh (4-0-2 record) ahead of his fight on April 1st at the National Stadium. His will be a key undercard bout on a show headlined by the homecoming of former world title challenger Jason Quigley. 

Tickets remain available at: https://www.elitesportspromotions.co/


Q: We last spoke almost a year ago. I wanted to go back and cover the fights that you’ve had in that time where you gained a lot of experience and moved on to six round level. 

Last May, you fought an experienced journeyman, Vasif Mamedov, in Doncaster. What can you tell me about that fight? It was obviously the toughest of your career up to that point.

Liam Walsh: That was a tough fight I took. It was very good for learning because he came at me and gave me a good fight.

The first two rounds I thought I was comfortable, winning, and then at the end of the second he caught me with a very good body shot. I came back to the corner and I told Tony [Davitt] that it sunk in, and I’m finding it hard to breathe. He said just to work behind the jab, keep him away from you because obviously he was already coming forward. He could see that I was backing off and slowing down, and put more pressure on me. In a way it taught me how to look comfortable but survive in the ring for the last two rounds, which I had to do. That’s why it cost me a draw.


Q: From my perspective on the fight, you were controlling it with your boxing early on, very similar to the first few pro fights you had. He got buoyed by the body shot and got on top of you then. By getting into a much more physical fight like that, would I be right in thinking you picked up a lot of experience by facing that adversity for the first time?

LW: Yeah, definitely. Even going back sparring, it was with high level boxers and being toe to toe with them, taking away from that fight with the hands up and getting used to taking shots on the gloves…it was definitely a valuable experience and in a few years I’ll be looking back and saying ‘that fight turned my career’.


Q: You next fought a similar guy to Mamedov, Martin Shaw, another experienced journeyman, in Leicester last September. That was another physical fight.

LW: Same, it was another test. Like I’ve said before, I’m not afraid to take testing fights even though I’m so young. I got offered it and I said ‘yes, that’ll be no problem’. He came at me straight away. He said to me and Carl [Greaves] after that he wasn’t getting beat by a kid.

He came at me and we had a good war. It was four rounds of toe to toe action which was great for me to learn, again, fighting on the inside. When I want titles, I know that the opponents, 50-50, aren’t going to back off so it’s all experience is how I’m looking at it.


Q: It’s a good perspective to have. Then you had the first fight in Ireland, the first six rounder. What can you tell me about that whole experience? Had you had many fights at the National Stadium in your amateur career?

LW: Yeah, I had a good few fights in the amateurs there so I knew all about the Stadium. I knew the ring was a full sized ring. My opponent [Attila Dobolan], he kept running away.

What I brought away was how to cut him off because I had to keep chasing him which is wrong and I needed to cut him off more so we’ve been working on that straight after that fight. It’s good to be learning even though I put him away in the fourth. We can still take things away. I need to learn how to cut the ring off with my feet. It’s not all about the punching.


Q: I’ve seen all of your pro fights, it was the first one I saw in person but, to my eye, it looked like your best performance. You got the stoppage. You did manage to cut off the ring and corner him. Did you feel it was your best performance or how would you classify it?

LW: It was definitely up there for one of my best performances boxing-wise and it looked good to watch. I think my best performance so far would probably be against Seamus Devlin [a 40-36 win in November 2021]. I was a bit busier because I only had four rounds. I did enjoy that one with Seamus but for getting the stoppage, for looking comfortable and picking my moments when to throw punches, I did that correctly in this one.

You have to do that in six rounders, it can’t be all action. I have to pick when I’m going to throw six, seven punches. I just would have liked it to be a little bit more in the first two rounds. I think I was a little bit slow looking back and I think I could start a bit faster in the future.


Q: How much do you go back and look at footage of the old fights? Or do you prefer just to think about it and train based on that?

LW: I always go back and look. I’m quite hard on myself when I watch fights back. I like to pick out what I should’ve done better. I like to look at what I did right as well, but I like to correct things.


Q: Your dad, Barry, is involved in the promotion of the last show and the one coming up. Not a lot of fighters experience that.

What’s it like fighting on your dad’s shows? Is that extra pressure? Does it take pressure off that you have these guaranteed fights and you’re able to fight in Ireland in front of maybe more of your own fans too?

LW: Having my dad do the promoting is good for me because I get to fight in Ireland and I do like having my own crowd there. I have a big enough crowd. I really appreciate everyone who buys tickets and comes to support me. Having my dad bring it back to Ireland was great.

Having him a part of it was no different because of my amateur career. He’s been in my corner since I was eleven. It’s different to when I was going over to Carl Greaves’ shows. I have to perform a little bit better because I’m the promoter’s son. I have to have a little bit more pressure on my shoulders but pressure isn’t a big deal to me. I’m more focused on just my own fights.


Q: Speaking of trying to be focused on what you’re doing yourself, there’s now the added element of your brother Paddy turning pro on the upcoming show. What will that be like for you and, as far as you know, what are his boxing aspirations?

LW: He’s a very good boxer so having him in the camp with me, having someone to push me even harder…I’m standing next to him every day in the gym and it’s making me train harder because, it’s not rivalry, but I know he’s going to put on a great performance. In a way, I want to put on a better performance. I want to hold my name up there the same as it is already. It’s good because we’re training very, very hard. Having him at my side is very good for me.


Q: Currently you’re scheduled to box Michal Slavik. What do you know about him and how much do you pay attention to the opponents you’re fighting at this stage? Do you pay much attention to their record or find out what they do stylistically?

LW: I’ve seen a few videos of him. He likes to take centre of the ring. It’s going to be a strong opponent coming forward. I want a fella who’s going to stay and give me six rounds. If I get him out of there before, that would be great as well. It looks good and obviously everyone wants to see a stoppage. Let’s hope I can do that on 1st April but, if not, it’s going to be a great fight.


Q: Are you expecting a good crowd to come up again like the last time?

LW: I’ve sold all my ringside tickets and there’s only gallery left from mine. There’s not many left. I’d say definitely over 120 people already and we’ve still got three weeks to get tickets out.

I’m very excited. I feel like this will probably be my best performance yet. The training camp’s gone very good. We’ve done seven or eight weeks training flat. We’re doing really well. I can’t wait to get in the ring to be honest. We’re going to put on a great performance. Everyone that’s bought tickets already and will be going to support other people, we appreciate it a lot.


Q: Do you have a goal in mind for 2023? You’ve moved up to six rounders now as you’ve gained experience. Do you see eight rounds as something that’s there to accomplish soon? What’s the goal in terms of number of fights this year?

LW: I definitely want four fights this year. Last year I was very busy and got six fights. Hopefully, if we can keep them at six rounds, and gain the experience of that distance, it would be great.

We’ll see with eight rounds. I’m only young. I’m still only 20. If we go to next year, 21, I can look for the eight rounds even. I’ll see how I’m feeling in the fights, talk to my manager Carl, my dad and see how everything’s going. If we feel that I’m going well and Tony feels that I’m improving enough to step it up: it’s all down to them really.

I just let them decide because they know by looking in the ring how I’m feeling. I always tell them the truth. If I’m feeling ready for a step up and they feel I’m ready too, then I’ll take that no problem.


Q: Has anything changed in your training set up lately now that you’re doing six rounders or is it much the same as it was? The fact that they’re over in Ireland too when you would have previously both trained and fought in the UK. 

LW: Obviously I’m still training in Tony’s gym. The only difference is the rounds really. I’m sparring eight rounds. I’m going a few more rounds sparring, more rounds on the pads and bags. The training schedules that we had in the other camps are the exact same now. It’s the same type of training.

In boxing training there isn’t too much different in anything. It’s bags, pads, sparring, running, strength and conditioning. You don’t really do anything else. We go for swims and stuff, but it doesn’t change just because of the rounds.


Q: Have you done any sparring in other people’s camps or is it always the case of people coming to your gym to spar you?

LW: We travel as well. We were down with the Donovans [Paddy and Edward] in Andy Lee’s gym sparring them, which is great experience for me. They’re very good, high level amateurs and now they’re doing very good in the pros as well. For my brother as well to be sparring them straight off, before his debut, is a big thing. Everything’s going well.


Q: Are there any other notable names around Ireland or the UK that you would’ve sparred in the last couple of years?

LW: I sparred the likes of Stanley Stannard, Tom Cowling, and, last year, Gary Cully, Sean McComb, and I did a few rounds with Tommy McCarthy, who are big names in Ireland. It was good to get rounds with them. They’re huge names and a lot more experienced than me so getting in with them, learning things with them is huge. It brings it in to my game then.


Q: Sometimes there’s a difference between more full on sparring and technical sparring. What do you find more useful? When sparring the likes of Tommy McCarthy, would that have been open sparring given that he’s so big?

LW: No, in a way it was full on but he definitely wasn’t hitting full power because obviously he was a bit heavier than me. The likes of Gary Cully and Sean McComb would have been full power. They’re at a high, high level already in the pros so learning off them, it’s huge.

But technical sparring, I do a bit of that with my brother, Paddy. We don’t go full out or we’d end up killing each other. The technical side is very good because you’re practicing things slowly and when you see it in an open spar, you throw the shots naturally.