Shock as Irish boxing coach Billy Walsh looks set to leave for US job

Billy Walsh
Billy Walsh

Billy Walsh, the man who runs Ireland's hugely succesful High Performance boxing programme, is on the brink of leaving after the Irish Amateur Boxing Association could not agree on a new package for him.

According to, the Irish Sports Council believed they had agreed a package that would keep the Wexford man in charge of the elite fighters here in Ireland but an IABA email on Tuesday changed 'virtually every detail of the package' and now it seems that Walsh will leave to take up a role in charge of the US women's boxing programme.

It seems ludicrous that the 52-year-old, who has brought home medal after medal for Ireland at European, World and Olympic level for years would be allowed walk out the door but that is the situation facing the IABA.

Walsh has long been courted by other countries. In the past, Australia and England tried to poach him but Walsh has always stayed loyal to his own country.

However, the US made a serious play for his services last year. According to the report, representatives of the US flew here to meet Walsh last October and over Christmas he spent some time in Colorado Springs to look at their set-up.

An offer was made to him by the US in February, one which included not only a large pay increase but also additional benefits like pension and health care, and Walsh told the IABA what changes he would require them to make.

According to Vincent Hogan the nub of the issue was around selection of teams, not money. All the requests were rejected.

The Sports Council stepped in to try and keep Walsh here with increased funding for him and his team but it seems that may all have been in vain.