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Walsh to retain British title in festive featherweight face-off

Ryan Walsh appears in his seventh British title fight when he defends his featherweight Lonsdale strap on Saturday night. The Team Southpaw Jab fighter is bullishly confident of getting the job done.

The man in the opposite corner will be Matchroom starlet, Reece Bellotti, 13-1 (11). Experience is with Walsh, 22-2-2 (11), who has faced better opposition; the likes of James Tennyson and Marco McCullough are fantastic scalps to have taken in the ring. At 28, Bellotti will hope he is fresher than the 32 year-old champion, but Walsh argues his short amateur career and his style in the pro-ranks mean he hasn’t got too much mileage on the clock.

The fight appears on the under-card of Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora’s highly anticipated re-match. These two featherweights will be taking to one of boxing’s biggest stages when they face off on Sky pay-per-view at the O2 in London.

Walsh told Southpaw Jab: “Every camp should be your best, best, best. I’m hoping to show the progression. I’ve been well due an upgrade and that’s what’s happened.”

Not everything has gone to plan though, the Norfolk man has suffered numerous setbacks with opponents pulling out and fights being dropped. His Tenerife camp has been months longer than intended as a result, but he hasn’t been sunbathing. Far from it. Walsh claims to be hitting new personal bests in the gym on a variety of fronts.

Without his own promotional outfit he’s been bounced between fights and broadcasters for a while but is looking forward to facing Bellotti on Saturday. “It’s not been a great year this year,” said Walsh, “but psychologically all the things I’ve been through will help me in the fight.”

Walsh repeatedly referred to boxing as “a gentleman’s sport” in the build up and that respect has been maintained by both fighters. When asked about his opposite number Walsh said: “There is a lot of pressure on him and that can do one of two things. He looks like the kind of lad who can rise to that.”

This is an exciting piece of match-making. While casual fans will be attracted to this show for its heavyweight baubles, hopefully some new Ryan Walsh and Reece Bellotti fans will emerge after what is likely to be a thrilling British title clash.

The Norfolk champion is expecting an arresting spectacle for fans and will have to work in close to negate Bellotti’s height advantage. Good luck from everyone at Southpaw Jab, Ryan. #andSTILL

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