Lancaster fighter heading back to Thailand after latest win

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Thailand is calling for Lancaster’s rising mixed martial arts star after picking up two impressive wins in the last six weeks.

Shay Walsh is heading to the Far East for the rest of 2014 after a unanimous decision victory over Paul Reed on BAMMA 16 at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on Saturday night.

Shay Walsh v Paul Reed BAMMA 16 Victoria Warehouse Manchester

Shay Walsh v Paul Reed BAMMA 16 Victoria Warehouse Manchester

The 26-year-old featherweight secured a lucrative scholarship with the major Tiger Muay Thai gym earlier this year and is looking to capitalise on the world-class facilities and sparring on offer.

Walsh, who is due to head to Thailand with his fiancé in October, said: “I’ve got two quick wins after a year out (with a broken jaw) and the plan is to head back to Thailand.

“I’ll be there for the rest of the year, including Christmas and New Year.

“I’ve won my two fights but want to be constantly improving and there’s some big names out there training for UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world leader in MMA) fights.

“It will be good to mix it up with them. I don’t know what’s happening with my next fight but I’ve spoken to BAMMA and the guys out in Thailand.

“It could be that I fight overseas in that part of the world but it’s up in the air.”

Walsh had to overcome some scheduling problems behind the scenes before getting the win over the experienced Reed.

He said: “There was a bit of a mess up.

“When I first got the rough times through I was fighting at 7.30 which is a lot earlier than I’m usually on.

“It’s usually 9.30pm or later so I was in a bit of a panic about whether or not the bus I had put on was going to make it in time.

“It got there and I was ready to go and just waiting for a fight to finish when the organisers came in and said my opponent had only just turned up.

“He’d showed up thinking we’d fight at 9.30 or 10 and wasn’t prepared to fight when he wasn’t ready.

“He apologised later but I had to cool down and just wait. Because of the way the later fights were scheduled for TV we were told we were going on last.

“But I was literally ready to leave my changing room when we got told it had been put to the back.”

The former Lancaster and Morecambe College student however kept his cool and won every round on the judges’ cards to move to 12-3 as a professional.

Walsh said: “I was very pleased overall.

“There was a big show feel about it, even going on after the main event.

“I had taken 85 from Lancaster and it was a big venue with a big crowd and we were in a nice, big cage.

“The only thing that really could have gone better is if I got a stoppage. But I knew going into it was going to be tough.”

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