Liam Walsh had nothing but praise for opponent Gary Sykes following Saturday’s British and Commonwealth title fight in London.
The two warriors battled it our for 12 gruelling rounds but had nothing but admiration at the final bell and compared battle scars in the dressing room after.
Walsh said “I’ve always had respect for Gary. I’ve watched him since the amateurs in the ABA’s and I always knew that one day our paths would cross.
“Gary is a proper man and a proper fighter.
“I clipped him in the first round but it was only a flash knock-down and he came back and started digging into me and I thought ‘he’s going nowhere here’.
“I had my brother on a massive body bag in training and he was wincing with the body shots I was giving so full respect to Gary for taking them.
“I’ve nothing but respect for Gary, Julian and his team.”
Walsh added: “I’d been to see a couple of Gary’s recent fights as I knew we would meet but I can’t say enough about him.
“He’s a top bloke and unfortunately we had to fight as that is the business we are in, because I would not want to fight him ever.
“It was not all one way at all and someone has just patted me on the shoulder and that hurt, so you know you’ve been in a real fight.
“I’ve shipped some good shots too and have a few marks to show for it and there were some good body punches went in from Gary too.”