Boxer pledges tribute in memory of tragic brother

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By James Bovington

Boxer Andy Walshaw, who trains at Tobin’s Thai Boxing Gym in Armley, will be fighting for the Jamal Promotions lightweight title on the last Saturday in June.

The date marks the sixth anniversary weekend of the death of his brother Matty and three other boys in a car crash on the Leeds Ring Road in Horsforth.

“My fight is the 29th,” said bricklayer Andy, from Horsforth. “And more than ever I’ll be boxing in memory of Matty. The person who first got me into boxing as who also trained at Tobin’s. I instantly fell in love with the place. I’ve never looked back.

“Boxing is central to my life and gave me strength when Matty died. I owe it to him to do my utmost to get the win in what will be my seventh bout as a boxer or a Thai boxer.”

Andy’s older brother Joe, 27, is also a boxer and lives with his parents and brother in Horsforth. He trains with Al Osta at UltraFlex Gym in Farsley.

“I’d like to turn professional,” said Joe. “But I’m aware the clock’s ticking. I’ve had ten amateur bouts and am going to Málaga to compete in October and then hopefully get on the national development programme. I just love the thrill of it as I aim in the bout to prove that I’m mentally and physically tougher and more skilful than my opponent. It’s not about dislike for the other man it’s about showing what I can do. That’s how Andy and I view it.”

“Andy has worked hard to become a title contender and his commitment to the sport is impressive,” said gym owner Mike Tobin. “His brother Matty and good friend Brandon who also died in the crash both trained here and had strong potential. Their memory is important to everyone in the club where we now have about 70 people including 15 ladies training at our five weekly sessions.”

Tobin offers one to ones and 13-year-old Leonardo ‘is benefitting greatly from his training,’ said his mother, ‘as it’s great for him in building up confidence and inner strength. I’d encourage other parents to bring their children along.’

Anyone interested in Thai boxing training at Tobin’s Gym can contact him on 07970 615425 or at Tobes1966@hotmail.co.uk.

Andy Walshaw’s bout takes place on Saturday, 29 June at White Rose Banqueting Suite on Tong Road Leeds 12. If wanting a ticket, then message Andy on Facebook or contact Mike Tobin.

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