It’s a horrible way to start off the week, but Callum Walsh was right on time for his 9am interview the Monday before last because when you’re one of the most talked about prospects in the sport, this is part of the gig.

“It's part of what has to be done, I suppose, isn't it?” he laughs. “But I like getting my name out there and letting people know what I'm doing.”

What the Ireland native is doing is creating a buzz in the fight game that some world champions don’t have. All with just six pro fights, all at the age of 22. This Friday, he gets another headlining slot at Commerce Casino when he faces an opponent who, on paper, is his toughest test to date in Carson Jones.

“It is a step up, but you can see from my last fight and every other fight, I need these kind of step ups,” said Walsh. “But if you put somebody in front of me that is not really worthy of being there or is not a good opponent, I'm just going to blow them away within one or two rounds. So hopefully this guy can last a couple of rounds and we can get a good fight.”

Call it the confidence of youth, but the proof is in Walsh’s performances thus far. Six fights, six wins, five knockouts, all five in three rounds or less. And while there are the usual suspects that up and comers get on the way up, he’s had fights with a couple decent foes, as well. But has he been tested? You can ask the honest man himself. 

“I haven't been tested yet,” he said. “I don't think I'm at the level where I'm truly going to be tested. Not yet.”

The 36-year-old Jones, a 63-fight veteran, may be the one; then again, maybe not. And if not, the Freddie Roach pupil will simply secure another win, head back to the Wildcard and keep working until the phone rings again. And in that iconic gym, he is getting pushed.

“Definitely, you can tell that they have experience,” Walsh said of his sparring work. “But I’ve got a lot of amateur fights, and I know it’s different, but I’ve fought against every style, and awkward styles, so I feel fine. I'm young, but I have experience myself.” 

So how does he stay patient when he would probably fight King Kong and Godzilla at the same time if he had his choice? Simple. He follows his team’s lead and lets the process play out.

“I just have to keep getting these wins and just keep making my way up the rankings, I suppose,” Walsh said. “I understand that it's a marathon and not a sprint at the moment. I just keep trusting my team and we’ll get there eventually. That's the whole point of having a team. They're going to drive me in the right direction, so I have to trust them.”

The direction is only up at this point, and all Walsh has to keep doing is win. And he’s fine with holding up his part of the bargain, even if it does include 9am interviews. But on Friday, he gets to do his talking with his fists, not just for himself, but for Ireland, a nation who’s fighters he defended with a tweet on May 27, writing, “I see a lot of tweets talking sh!t about Irish boxers, June 9th I’ll remind everyone who we are.”

After the week of boxing that Ireland had, we haven't had the best performance,” he said. “I know there are another couple of up-and-coming fighters that are winning, too, but I do feel like I am the next face of Irish boxing. And I do have to, as well, especially because I'm over here in America. I want to win them over here and bring it back to my own country. So I do feel a responsibility to win for my country.”

And who knows, maybe by the time 2024 rolls around, Walsh will be fighting at home, something he can’t wait for. Irish fans probably can’t wait for an appearance from the “King,” as well, because at this point, everyone wants to see Callum Walsh.