Callum Walsh survives spirited effort from Ismael Villarreal, remains unbeaten after biggest test

Callum Walsh (L) gained a unanimous choice over Ismael Villarreal on Thursday at Madison Sq. Backyard. He posed after the combat with promoter Tom Loeffler. (Lina Baker/360 Promotions) ((Lina Baker/360 Promotions))

NEW YORK — The hype surrounding Callum Walsh, was overwhelming. And the Irish tremendous welterweight prospect confronted loads of scrutiny Thursday in his bout earlier than a sell-out crowd of three,014 at The Theater at Madison Sq. Backyard with younger veteran Ismael Villarreal.

On one facet of the ring sat Larry Holmes, a boxing Corridor of Famer who ranks among the many small handful of the best heavyweights in historical past. Throughout from him, saying on the UFC Battle Go broadcast, was one-time Holmes opponent Gerry Cooney. Behind Cooney sat UFC CEO Dana White, WWE president Nick Khan, former professional wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque and 360 Promotions promoter Tom Loeffler. Tremendous light-weight world champion Teofimo Lopez was additionally in the home.

There was a number of strain on Walsh to carry out, and that he did in a bout that was, at instances, very tough for him. He was dropped within the tenth and had the spherical gone on 30 seconds longer, he may need been in issue.

It was sufficient for him to win a tough unanimous choice. Judges scored it 97-92 twice and 96-93 for Walsh. Yahoo Sports activities had it 96-93 for Walsh.

“He did very effectively,” Roach instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “I believed he gained each spherical and the child got here to combat. He wasn’t simply there to get a payday. He fought and I believed Callum dealt with himself effectively.”

Villarreal entered the bout with a 13-1 file and 9 knockouts and a repute as a wily professional with an excellent chin. He and his group had been assured they’d win and he fought that manner. He proved to be a big problem, rocking Walsh at instances however extra typically standing toe-to-toe and consuming arduous, clear pictures delivered by the promising Irish tremendous welterweight.

“Nice combat between two up-and-coming guys,” White mentioned. “[There was] no massive fish, small pound s***, no [tomato] cans, no record-padding. Nice matchmaking. That is why I like Tom’s fights.”

Walsh, now 9-0, fought with the moxie of a man with twice the variety of fights. After Villarreal hit him low in a single spherical and head-butted him within the subsequent, Walsh did not contact gloves because the referee restarted the combat, cracking Villarreal with a clear left hand. He was exhibiting he would not be bullied or intimidated.

At his greatest, Walsh was creating angles and blasting Villarreal with clear, straight punches, notably his left hand. However his love for the combat obtained him into bother every now and then as he would commerce unnecessarily and wind up getting caught by fast — and ceaselessly arduous — mixtures from Villarreal.

“I am very pleased,” Walsh mentioned. “I am 22 years outdated and I am combating actual guys. That man was undoubtedly an actual fighter. So yeah, undoubtedly proud of that; actual pleased.”

He hit the canvas from such a flurry within the tenth, as he was partaking and Villarreal landed a five-or-six-punch mixture that dropped Walsh to all fours. Close to the top of the spherical, Villarreal landed a number of pictures to the top that damage Walsh badly.

However Walsh confirmed the ability he is change into identified for in his profession but in addition confirmed some boxing ability. The large query is whether or not he is a future world champion. He has the group behind him in addition to the nook, however he is nonetheless a piece in progress.

He confirmed effectively, although, and had the group roaring, so those that watched him probably will wish to see him once more.

“I wasn’t attempting to load up on my punches,” Walsh mentioned. “I used to be attempting to field and use my boxing capability and my velocity, and I believe I did that.

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