2020 Tokyo Olympics: Irish Boxer Forced To Withdraw After Injuring Ankle while Celebrating

by Jonathan Howard

Bad luck strikes at the worst of times because, of course it does. The latest at the Tokyo Olympics to be hit with the bad luck bug is Irish boxer Aidan Walsh. Walsh defeated Merven Clair of Mauritius in the quarterfinals of the welterweight competition. Upon winning that match, Walsh had earned himself the bronze medal with a chance to earn silver or gold should he get through the semifinals.

When the judges read off the decision, giving Walsh the win, the Irishman jumped up and down rather erratically. It was clear that he had twisted his ankle in the victory celebration. There is no one to place blame on, and after winning an Olympic medal, one should celebrate however they feel is proper. It is quite unfortunate for Walsh to go out of the Olympics this way, and there will always be that question of “what if?”

Aidan Walsh would later leave the arena in a wheelchair. The Irish team said that Walsh had injured his ankle, but said that he was injured during the fight. Ireland’s boxing team leader commented. Bernard Dunne said, “His performance throughout the tournament has been outstanding, and it is great to see him write his name in the annals of Irish sport.” Dunne with quite the praise for his athlete.

Bringing home an Olympic medal is quite the achievement. If Walsh had been able to continue, he would have faced Great Britain’s Pat McCormack on Sunday. Walsh would eventually drop out of the semifinal due to his ankle injury and McCormack advanced to the gold medal welterweight fight.

Aidan Walsh Misses Welterweight Semifinal

As for the rest of the Olympic boxing tournament, the welterweight division will go on. With Pat McCormack advancing without having to fight a semifinal bout, he may be more rested than his opponent. McCormack will face Roniel Iglesias of Cuba in the gold medal bout.

Defeating Iglesias will not be easy for the British boxer. Throughout the tournament, Iglesias has dominated. He hasn’t lost a round since the Round of 16 against Japan’s Sewonrets Quincy Mensah Okazawa. Iglesias defeated Delante Johnson of America and Andrey Zamkovoy of the Russian Olympic Committee 5-0 each.

However, McCormack has only lost one round during the entire Olympic Games. Even if he didn’t faceoff against Aidan Walsh, that is impressive. The world was deprived of an Irish/British boxing match at the Olympics though, and that will be the biggest loss in all of this. The story would have written itself, it could have been the stuff of movies.

With Walsh’s injury, the finals will still be quite the fight. Both of these boxers stand at 5’10” and 152lb, the welterweight division is one of the most exciting and interesting in the sport. These fighters are quick and strong and these two are very experienced. The Brit is six years younger than Iglesias. McCormack is 26-years-old while Iglesias is 32, turning 33 next week on the 14th of August.