Callum Walsh is from one of the first eras of fans that doesn’t feel the need to choose between MMA and boxing. As a student of both games, Walsh is on track to be one of combat sports’ all-time greats.
The 21-year-old Walsh enjoys a privilege not many have always had. In the past, a boxer cross training in an MMA gym may not have been received as well as it is today, and vice versa. Even at the height of the MMA vs Boxing days, though, Walsh feels like his work ethic would have made him one of the most respected members of whatever gym he went to.
“I’m always trying to work as hard as I can; even just for running, I’m always trying to be first,” Walsh said. “I look at it as a race. I’m always pushing myself.”
The decision to “compete” with everybody in the gym isn’t new, and it wasn’t a decision made to impress his coaches. Since Walsh was a child, he’s been an abnormally hard worker, catching the attention of those around him.
“I’ve been doing this my whole life,” Walsh explained. “I’ve always been training this hard since I was six years old, even when I’m not in camp. People in the gym always come up and say, ‘Do you have a fight coming up or something?’ and I have to tell them no, that this is all I know; it’s just how I train.”
It’s so second-nature to Walsh at this point that he doesn’t even pride himself on working harder than 99.9% of the globe. It’s just the way life has been since he was young enough to not know he was unique.
Expectations for himself have always been high and he’s already reaping the rewards of his hard work. There’s no time to stop and smell the roses, however. Walsh’s success is a product of his hard work and he’s only at the foot of the mountain.
“His mentality, his cardio, his engine… just training once with @TonyFergusonXT has been crazy. He’s taught me so much about how to keep going and mental toughness.”— UFC News (@UFCNews) May 8, 2022
We know who @KingCallumWalsh 🇮🇪 is pulling for at his first @UFC event.🕶🏆
[#UFC274 | https://t.co/JQseK8zP6z]
“To be fair, I kind of look at it like I’m doing some crazy stuff but, at the end of the day, this is what I need to be doing if I want to be the best,” Walsh said. “If I want to be the best I need to be training with the best and be able to keep up.”
Walsh is currently 2-0 as a professional but is already having trouble trying to fathom what the future holds for him at the rate he’s going. He’s admittedly caught himself daydreaming about what the future may hold for him, but always catches himself before he loses focus.
Whatever he’s done so far has worked, and fight by fight we’ll see just what Ireland’s newest star in combat sports is working with.
“It’s kind of tough sometimes, but that’s the way I’ve been taught at home,” Walsh said. “Just take it one fight at a time and never look past them. I’m never looking past the fight because something could go wrong and that’s not what I want to happen.”
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