Seventeen year old Tullamore boxing sensation, Grainne Walsh, has brought national boxing honours to the town after just eight months in the sport when she won the girls 63kg Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) National Novice title in the National Stadium in Dublin recently.
Grainne, who only took up boxing last May, defeated Siobhan O’ Leary from the Corpus Christi Club in Cork in the Novice Final, who is five years her senior and a much more experienced boxer.
A member of Tullamore’s newest boxing club, the Spartacus Club in the Axis Business Park, Grainne is daughter of Gerry and Geraldine Walsh from the Clara Road, and as well as being a very talented boxer she is also a top-class soccer player and is currently a member of the Dublin-based Shamrock Rovers Senior Women’s team.
Less than twenty-four hours after winning her Gold Medal in the Novice Championships at the National Stadium, Grainne lined out with the Shamrock Rovers Squad to face top Dublin side Peamount in the elite National Women’s League at the Rovers home ground of Tallaght Stadium in west Dublin. Having previously played soccer with Tullamore Town, Killeigh, Longford Town and the Dublin-based St. Francis Club, Grainne Walsh, was invited to go forward for trials with Shamrock Rovers and signed for the Club to participate in the National Women’s League on her 16th birthday.
She also received her first Ireland Cap when she played with the Ireland U-17 Squad in a friendly game against Northern Ireland last year.
Given her natural talent for both soccer and boxing, the young Tullamore boxing champion has already been compared with European, World and Olympic boxing heroine, Katie Taylor. Her coach at the Spartacus Club, Dima Dmitruk, who knows Katie Taylor and her coach, said that Grainne has the same mentality as the Olympic champion.
“Katie Taylor is talented for all sports, and Grainne is a person born for sport. She has very good co-ordination, and she is tough as well, she is not afraid, which is very important in boxing,” said Dima.
In the Novice Final, Grainne shaded the first of the three two-minute rounds by one point, was three points up in the second round and went on to win the bout 16-10. Her good footwork was a key factor in her ability to score. The Novice grade is for boxers who have fewer than 12 fights behind them and have been training for three years or less.
Grainne’s next challenge is the National U-18 Championships which are scheduled to take place in May. Whoever wins there will be on the National Junior Team to represent Ireland.