Wexford's Walsh is the best coach in the world
USA Head Boxing Coach Billy Walsh capped off a remarkable year in his coaching career on Tuesday evening at the IABA awards ceremony in Montreux, Switzerland.
The Wexford native was named best coach in the world for 2016, an amazing achievement by the affable Irish man.
In an emotional acceptance speech he thanked his first boxing coach the late Eddie Byrne for nurturing his love of boxing, he acknowledged the support of his family in allowing him to do the job he loves and he dedicated his award to the man who taught him everything, his late father Liam Walsh.
Speaking to Alan Ahearne, Group Sports Editor of People Newspapers, immediately after the ceremony, Billy was overjoyed at receiving this prestigious award, and unusually for him he was almost speechless.
"I don't normally get emotional at awards ceremonies, but I think the enormity of the accolade hit me just as I stepped on to the stage. The memory of Eddie, my family and especially my dad Liam just flooded into my mind as I was handed the microphone.
"I am immensely proud for my family and friends, and of course I am delighted for my employers USA boxing who showed tremendous belief in my abilities by taking the chance on employing me and backing me 100 per cent since I arrived in Colorado last year".
This the first time an Irishman has been has won this award and shows the high esteem in which the former Ireland head coach is held by his peers in World boxing.
"I am thrilled to be honoured by IABA for a job I love doing and this award ranks up there with any other I've achieved.
"Of course it still doesn't beat being a Freeman of the town I love, Wexford," added Billy.