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Watch: Billy Walsh Overcome With Emotion As He's Named AIBA Coach Of The Year

Gavan Casey
By Gavan Casey
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Former Irish boxing head coach Billy Walsh was named AIBA's 'Coach of the Year' at last night's awards ceremony in Switzerland.

Walsh led the USA to three medals at the Rio Olympics this summer having only taken the helm towards the end of the current Olympic cycle, with the former boxing superpower having won just two medals at the previous two Games combined.


With IABA president Pat Ryan in attendance alongside Vice President Joe Hernon and CEO Fergal Carruth, Walsh picked up the prestigious gong to rapturous applause just over a year after departing the Irish set-up in acrimonious circumstances.

He was quick, however, to pay tribute to the setup he left behind, in a highly emotional speech:

First of all, I'm deeply honoured, and shocked as well, to receive this award, with so many great coaches out there.

There's probably a couple of points I'd like to make - maybe three things I'd like to speak about, so I'll keep it quick.

First of all, where I come from... They have me down [on the big screen] as 'IRL', that should probably be 'USA', actually! But it's a great tribute to the system I come from, and that's Ireland.

Growing up as a seven-year-old I never thought I’d be standing here today, receiving this award. That time, in the working class estate where I come from, there was one man who was a boxing coach. And he brought me, from a seven-year-old to a 25-year-old, to the Olympic Games. So, I'm very, very thankful for that man - Eddie Byrne.

Secondly, my family, who supported me all the time. And my new family- USA Boxing.

No man can do this by himself. It has to be a team, and USA Boxing are working hard to put USA Boxing back at the top of the AIBA table to dine with the best teams in the world.

And finally, I'd like to dedicate this award to a man who taught me everything - my late father Liam Walsh.

You can watch Walsh's acceptance speech below.


SEE ALSO: 'Coach Billy Walsh' Is Starting To Get A Lot Of Love From America As US Boxers Excel



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