Unbeaten Super Featherweight Liam Walsh challenges Joe Murray for the vacant IBF International Super Featherweight Title at the Copper Box on Saturday 21st September in a fight where one of the two best emerging fighters at the weight is set to lose their unbeaten record.
Walsh spoke ahead of the showdown this Saturday which forms part of a multi-title card headlined by Billy Joe Saunders British and Commonwealth title clash with John Ryder at the curtain raiser for the Olympic Park venue, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Liam what do you know about Joe Murray?
I know a lot about him, I’ve been watching a lot of DVDs to prepare. He was an excellent amateur and has superb technical ability and he’s been ticking along nicely in the pro’s and starting to blossom. He’s probably seeing this as a bit of a coming out party for him but it won’t be I’m not going to lose my unbeaten record, he is.
Would you say he’s likely to be your toughest test to date?
Yeah, every fight is a tough test but I’d definitely say that he’s better technically than any boxer I’ve faced. Appleby was a good test, but in terms of technical ability this will be my toughest
What are your plans for the next 18 months should you get past Joe Murray, is a World title shot on the agenda?
Hopefully, of course I have to be at my best against Murray, it won’t be enough to just win against him, I have to win well and in style to keep that momentum going. After that I’ll sit down with Frank, George and Francis (Warren) and we’ll look at the next move, but I would jump at the chance to fight for a World title.
Last time out you beat former world champion Scott Harrison in a cracking fight at Wembley, and in 2011 you were the winner in the fight of the year against Paul Appleby, do you think we can expect something of similarly exciting this time around against Joe Murray?
Without a doubt, Murray is a hugely ambitious young fighter like myself and we’re both putting it on the line. Like me he has dreams and big ambitions to go all the way, it’s must win for both of us and I think you’ll see that in the way the fight plays out. Last time I fought someone similarly young and hungry, in Paul Appleby it turned out to be the fight of the year, so I think we can expect to see some fireworks again as the scenario is similar.
You were in line to face Ricky Burns last year before injury ruled you out of the clash, what have you made of his two last performances? And should you end up campaigning at lightweight where your highly ranked by the WBO would you fancy that fight in the future?
I’ve got to say it, but he’s been very lucky! I like Ricky and have got a lot of respect to him, but Gonzalez was getting the better of him for the whole of their fight before he swallowed, which was just shameful on his (Gonzalez) part! Against Beltran, I had a good bet that Beltran would win as he’s a world class fighter and always thought Ricky would struggle against him as he seemed a level above. Let’s be honest he clearly lost the fight, and I unjustifiably lost my bet!
In terms of facing him and making our cancelled fight happen, why not! I was absolutely devastated to have to pull out after my car crash, I feel I’ve got all the attributes to make life difficult for Burns. The Puerto Rican was slick and awkward and Burns just couldn’t deal with it and I feel like I could have given him similar problems. If the opportunity came up again I would be screaming from the rooftops for for that fight and a shot at the world title!
What’s it going to mean to you to fight at The Copper Box inside the Olympic Park after the legacy left by last year’s games?
I’m massively excited about fighting at the venue inside the Olympic Park, probably more so than I have to fight at any other venue in my career. All my fans and friends are absolutely buzzing as well to see boxing there for the first time, I’ve got to say I think its potentially the best venue of the lot, every seat in the house is fantastic value for money! I went there for the press conference for the first time and could feel the buzz, I just can’t wait for the bell to go as the atmosphere is going to be fantastic!
Finally what’s your prediction for the fight?
Simply a Liam Walsh win
Queensberry Promotions’ multi title extravaganza at the Copper Box Arena is headlined by the huge British and Commonwealth title showdown between Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder – the first of six confirmed shows that Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions have set up for the next year
An action packed card also features Dereck Chisora in a second stab at European glory, after being robbed of the title against Robert Helanius two years ago. Chisora faces Edmund Gerber this time for the vacant EBU strap. Paul Butler will be looking to continue to send shockwaves through the super-flyweight division when he takes on Miguel Gonzalez for the WBO Intercontinental title. Whilst Frankie Gavin faces rival David Barnes in which he hopes to capture the Lonsdale belt for keeps, before he continues his march towards a World title.
The exciting Mitchell Smith looks to capture the Vacant Southern Area title against Scott Moises, whilst the hugely popular Frank Buglioni will bring his army of fans to the venue for the first time as he looks to go 10-0.
Welterweight Bradley Skeete gets a chance to impress whilst top amateurs Georgie Kean and Josh Leather will make their professional bows on the bill.
Remaining tickets for the Copper Box Arena show are priced at:
£40 Upper Concourse
£50 Lower Seating Bowl
Watch live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) this Saturday night. Join at www.boxnation.com