Callum Walsh, who trains in Los Angeles at the Wild Card Boxing Club, will be fighting this Friday on the Central California Coast after having his last two fights in New York City over the past six months.

Walsh faces Carlos Ortiz at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California. The scheduled 10-round junior middleweight bout is promoted by 360 Promotions and broadcast by UFC Fight Pass.

Walsh (10-0, 8 KOs) will be fighting in Santa Ynez for the first time after starting his career with frequent bouts in Montebello and Commerce, California. The 23-year-old has grown his audience by fighting in Boston and New York, with hints of a potential future fight in Ireland. His visibility has also increased through features on WWE telecasts and praise from UFC President Dana White.

“It’s great to be fighting back in Southern California,” Walsh said at a recent Wild Card media workout.

The Irish-born fighter will face Ortiz (14-5, 14 KOs), who has won all of his fights by knockout. The hard-hitting southpaw from Mexico enters on a three-fight win streak after being stopped in the sixth round by Blair Cobbs in 2019. Ortiz upset Golden Boy Promotions’ prospect Evan Sanchez in 2022 by knocking him out in the fifth round and looks to repeat that success this Friday.

Walsh, trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, reflected on his preparation for the upcoming fight. Despite doubts lingering after his struggle against Ismael Villarreal last November – a fight he won by unanimous decision but did not look impressive in – Walsh has since returned with a ninth-round knockout of Dauren Yeleussinov. Both bouts took place at the Madison Square Garden Theater.

“Coach Freddie [Roach] and I have had a great training camp,” Walsh said. “Every camp I become a better fighter as I learn more and we increase the intensity of the sparring.”

Walsh has become a cult figure in combat sports. While boxing fans know of him, his popularity among UFC fans surpasses his boxing following, likely due to his fights being on UFC Fight Pass. The only other fighter to gain such a following was Holly Holm, a women’s boxing titlist who became a UFC champion by knocking out Ronda Rousey. Reflecting on his past two fights in New York City and his return to Southern California, Walsh said: “I loved having my last two fights at Madison Square Garden and I’m looking forward to putting on another terrific show on June 7.”