An emotional Billy Walsh paid tribute to his former coach Eddie Byrne and to his late father, Liam Walsh, as he was named AIBA Coach of the Year in Montreaux last night.
The former Ireland head coach took charge of Team USA ahead of the Rio Olympics and guided his boxers to gold, silver and bronze at the 2016 Games.
And Walsh was recognised for the remarkable job that he has done with a resurgent USA team, who secured their first male boxing medals since 2008, as Shakur Stevenson and Nico Hernandez won silver and bronze respectively, while Claressa Shields took gold in the women’s middleweight division.
Speaking at the AIBA’s 70th anniversary celebrations in Switzerland on Tuesday, Walsh said: "I'm deeply honoured, and shocked as well, to receive this award.
“Growing up as a seven-year-old, I never thought I’d be standing here today, receiving this award.
“In the working class estate where I come from, there was one man who was a boxing coach. And he brought me, from a seven-year-old to a 25-year-old, to the Olympic Games. So I'm very, very thankful for that man, Eddie Byrne.
“And I'd like to dedicate this award to a man who taught me everything - my late father Liam Walsh.”
Walsh also acknowledged his “new family”, USA boxing in his acceptance speech, while also pointing out that the caption on the tribute video should have read ‘USA’ instead of ‘IRL’.
“They have me down as 'IRL', that should probably be 'USA', actually. But it's a great tribute to the system I come from, and that's Ireland.
“[We] are working hard to put USA boxing back at the top of the AIBA table to dine with the best teams in the world.”