Frampton tells IABA to “wise up” and bring back Billy Walsh

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Belfast’s two-weight World champion Carl Frampton has called for the IABA to chase after Billy Walsh following Irish boxing’s medal-less Rio Olympics.

Frampton, who won 2007 EU silver under Walsh, feels that the Wexford man’s discipline – in conjuction with Zaur Antia’s technical brilliance – helped Ireland become one of the leading nations in amateur boxing.

Writing in his weekly column for the Sunday Life, WBA featherweight champ Frampton outlined his belief that “Irish amateur boxing chiefs need to swallow a big slice of humble pie and realise they need to go and get Billy Walsh back in the High Performance Centre coaching set-up.

“The IABA Central Council need to wise up, realise they don’t know everything and do their best to get him back.”

Walsh left the Irish set up late last year and joined Team USA. In Rio the American’s showed signs of returning to near the top of amateur boxing after a succession of disappointing Games. Under Walsh they claimed a three medals in Brazil, gold for Claressa Shields, silver for Shakur Stevenson, and bronze for Nico Hernandez.

Frampton however played down the impact of Walsh on American fortunes, noting how the reactions in Ireland “almost made Walsh seem like some kind of Angelo Dundee figure, but that would be taking things a bit too far.”

Nevertheless he feels that “the IABA should have matched or bettered the American offer and now they seem to be paying a heavy price.”

“I know Billy is a proud Irishman and I’m sure he would love to be part of getting Irish boxing back on the road to major international medals and I don’t think it would take that much.”

“Billy’s discipline and organisation along with Zaur’s technical expertise is the winning combination for Irish boxing.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]