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As dust settles on tearful eight months, Billy Walsh reveals how he's settling into US life

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

19:08 17 Feb 2016

Billy Walsh says he's enjoying life within the USA boxing fraternity.

The head coach of Irish amateur boxing's successful High Performance unit left his previous role in highly publicised and acrimonious circumstances back in October, telling Off The Ball at the time that non-financial factors had spurred the outcome.

With a few months under the bridge, Walsh joined Off The Ball again from Colorado to talk about his new life abroad coaching the USA towards the Olympics.

"It's been good. It's been very, very interesting. Obviously, moving and a change of culture. I have a team that haven't been successful for the last couple of Olympic games, so there's been lots of hard work, really going back to grassroots and I'm enjoying it," he said, although it has been "difficult" in terms of missing friends and family back in his native Wexford.   

Former Ireland Boxing Head coach Billy Walsh makes his way through departures in Dublin Airport on October 22nd 2015 ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

One of the challenges for Walsh is building a team ethos Stateside, admitting that things were "fractured" when he arrived.

"Individual boxers had their own coaches and came from all over America and wanted to be trained like that, so we had to change that and that's part of the culture change," he said.

 

Remembering the fallout in the days before he left for the USA, he recalls the whole episode as a "bit crazy, alright".

"Somebody spent four hours in the Dail debating about me leaving the country to go somewhere else. It's an amazing thing to happen, something that I never would have wanted to happen because amateur boxing has been my life and the IABA has been life since the age of 7," he said, reflecting on the nights staying up crying and in tears as the controversy unfolded. 

"In those eight months, I spent many nights on my own crying," he explained.


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