“BRING on Michael Conlan’ sang Kurt Walker’s pocket of fans as their man claimed the National Elite 56kg Irish title on Friday night.
The Walker faithful obviously believe the Canal fighter has the talent to challenge the London 2012 medal winner for a spot on the plan to Rio.
The much vaunted amateur prospect wasn’t as forthright or vocal in calling out Conlan, but the first time Irish champion didn’t shy away from the massive challenge.
Walker is happy to pick up experience as Ireland’s number two 56kg puncher, but claims he will continuously attempt to close the gap on the World respected brother of World title hopeful Jamie Conlan. The former underage stand out didn’t mention Rio but he did state he hopes to beat Conlan before he turns pro, something the St John Bosco puncher is expected to do after the next Olympics.
“I feel brilliant, just to get that senior title is brilliant,” Walker said after his title win.
“I am going to improve this year too, I know it. I have the opportunity now to be down the High Performance and improve all the time.
“Now the idea is to close the gap towards Michael Conlan. I am trying to get closer and closer to him every day and hopefully I beat him before he eventually turns pro. I will definitely get trips no matter what. I can get number two trips this year and they are good experience. I went on them last year and I got to fight the World number 6, which is great experience.”
Whether or not he can be Conlan ready in just 12 months time remains to be seen, but Walker certainly caught the eye in the recent Irish Championships and at the very least increased his facebook following.
“I got a great reaction after last week and its good to get the name out there. I had Facebook messages of support all week and coaches in Dublin were mailing me saying kids were trying to copy my footwork.”