The Bray light flyweight turned professional at the turn of last year and racked up a 2-0 record in the paid game. However, he will return to the vest and begin targetting the 2020 Olympic Games following an unsatisfactory time in the pros.
An Intermediate champion and Elite runner-up with St Teresa’s BC, Buckley raised eyebrows when he elected to make the move whilst still in his teens.
‘The Rocket’ impressed on his debut versus Gary Reeve last May and then took a step up in opposition, weight, and rounds to score an eye-catching six-round win over Carl McDonald in September.
Following this though he saw fight dates fall through in December and February which left Buckley somewhat disillusioned.
The 20-year-old revealed to Irish-Boxing.com last week that he had reached a critical juncture and was in advanced talks for a massive fight with former European champion and world title challenger Silvio Olteanu and, should this match-up not come off, he would return to the amateurs.
This looks to have been the case, with the talented Wicklow fighter announcing his move last night on social media.
Buckley lost the 2016 49kg Senior final to Stevie McKenna – who had his move to the pros confirmed yesterday – and the 2017 and 2018 finals were won by Blaine Dobbins and Connor Jordan respectively.
However, the IABA still seem to be in search of a long-term replacement for double Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes, with neither Dobbins nor Jordan being involved in major tournaments or trips.
The 2019 Elite Senior Championships are set to take place this coming November where Buckley will be looking to stamp his authority on the smallest division and secure himself a spot on the plane to the European Championships/Games next Summer – a qualifier for the World Championships, themselves a qualifier for the Tokyo Games.
Buckley said that he is “very excited to be back in the vest again and we have big plans starting with the Elite championships this year.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)