- Callum Walsh says he’s ready to follow in the footsteps of Conor McGregor and Katie Taylor.
- The 21-year-old Irishman scored the second knockout of his burgeoning career Thursday.
- Speaking after his blistering win, he said he’s going to take over the world.
LOS ANGELES — 21-year-old boxer Callum Walsh may well be following in the footsteps of Ireland’s modern-day great fighters like former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor and pound-for-pound boxing star Katie Taylor.
Walsh has already made the combat sports industry sit up and take notice as he’s trained by Manny Pacquiao‘s long-time former coach Freddie Roach, represented by Gennadiy Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler, and has the support of UFC boss Dana White.
“We have the best team,” Walsh told Insider this week, shortly after scoring a quickfire first-round knockout Thursday — the second of his burgeoning career.
Rising star Walsh knocked super welterweight opponent Gael Ibarra out in a mere 33 seconds at Quiet Cannon in Montebello, and rather than celebrate, he looked annoyed that he won so easily without as much as breaking a sweat.
After changing into a shamrock-covered suit to celebrate his St. Patrick’s Day win, Walsh told Insider that “it’s an unbelievable feeling to get a first-round knockout.”
He said: “I would have liked a bit more of a fight but these first-round knockouts do happen as I hit too hard at 154-pounds.”
It is a knockout his trainer Roach prophesized earlier in the day when speaking to Insider at a boxing event in downtown Los Angeles.
“Like the last show, I expect him to steal the show again,” Roach said. “That’s what we did last time and we’re going to do it again. He’s going to blow this guy away.”
Walsh blew him away with ease.
The youngster is still only two fights deep into a pro career but his experience in the fight game is relatively disguised, Roach argues, as he had 65 amateur bouts and won six championships.
According to Walsh, Roach has taught him how to “transition from the amateur style to pro” as well as “sitting down on my punches.”
As for what the UFC president White brings to the table, Walsh said: “He showed me around the whole UFC Performance Institute, and Howler Head whiskey came on board as a sponsor.
“Dana White’s really been pushing me on social media.”
—Tom Loeffler (@TomLoeffler1) February 10, 2022
Is Walsh set to follow in McGregor and Taylor’s footsteps?
Ireland’s contribution to combat sports is rich, varied, and storied.
But its modern day athletes McGregor and Taylor have really reinforced the country’s place on the fighting map.
It begs the question whether Walsh can be the next fighter to follow in their footsteps, and add to Ireland’s legacy as a nation that produces extraordinary combatants.
“I think so,” Roach told Insider. “He’s a good, good fighter. When you watch him spar and he only has one fight, how can a guy with one fight, do that?
“He has had a very good amateur career and he’s very seasoned, and a great puncher. He can knock you out with either hand.”
Walsh is sure he can be the new McGregor and Taylor. “Definitely,” he said.
“I feel like it’s my time now, and this is only the beginning. I’m coming for everything — taking over the world.”