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Olympic medal didn’t change me, insists Aidan Walsh as he stays cool in hunt for Commonwealth Games glory

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Aidan Walsh isn't putting pressure on himself

Aidan Walsh isn't putting pressure on himself

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Aidan Walsh isn't putting pressure on himself

Aidan Walsh prefers a dog walk to a ring walk at the Commonwealth Games.

Belfast’s Olympic boxing bronze medallist is the Zen master of the light-middleweight draw, with nothing to prove and a focus on, as they say, ‘enjoying the process’.

It is no cliché coming from Walsh, who has delivered his best in plenty of pressure cookers and for whom upgrading Commonwealth silver to gold is a side issue.

They say Olympic medals change your life, but not for this man.

He said: “The public put expectations on you, but I’ve no expectations on myself.

“Away from an Olympic medallist I’m a normal person. I love kayaking, I love going to McDonalds, I love Chinese, going to my caravan and doing normal things.

“I think my life stayed the same. I spent less money than I did before I won an Olympic bronze medal, I go out less than I did before.

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“Walking the dog for me now is the biggest achievement I can ever have.”

Walsh put on a southpaw boxing masterclass to beat Lesotho’s Arena Pakela by unanimous decision.

A freak of the draw will pit him against England’s newly crowned European champion Harris Akbar at the Quarter-Final stage, a match-up that will turn the NEC into a cauldron.

Walsh was beaten by an Englishman, Pat McCormack, at Gold Coast 2018 but when questions turn to revenge and retribution, he demurs.

Walsh said: “I just want to enjoy it, regardless of winning and losing. All the time we focus on gold medals, but you neglect the enjoyment of it. Good performances lead to good things. The team’s great and it’s a great honour to be captain of the team.”

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