Clonard’s Quinn, who was later awarded the Most Improved Young Boxer award, came racing out of the traps in the first round of their final at the Ulster Hall, landing big uppercuts.
Irvine however was able to retake control, and smart salvos in the second and third saw him claim an exciting win that essentially secures him a spot on the Northern Ireland team that will go to the Commonwealth Games in Australia next April.
Afterwards the St Paul’s boxer credited his club coaches for their between-rounds advice which prevented a possible shock from occurring.
Analysing the fight, Irvine noted how “I started to slow in the first round. I wasn’t using my jab at all, but I got back to the corner and my coaches told me what to do and they told me to use my jab. My jab basically won me that fight by keeping him at bay and catching him with nice shots.”
“My jab was working lovely, what can I say? I was catching him lovely every time whether it was to the body or head.”
“It was a good fight for everyone to watch, but I started slow and the came well back into it. I’m just thankful I have such a good team around me.”
The European Games silver and European Championships bronze medalist admits it wasn’t a perfect performance against the talented teen, however he was delighted to round off a busy year in the vest.
Irvine described how Quinn “was catching me inside with the left uppercut, but I shouldn’t be getting caught inside. I’m a boxer, I should have been boxing from the first round, it was my own fault.”
“I’m happy with my performance, happy with how it went. I’m just delighted, now I’ll relax for a couple of weeks because it’s been all go since I got back from holidays, I have to get a break.”
Irvine will still be only 21 years old when the Games rock around, but with two major international medals and an Olympics under his belt, the ‘Wee Rooster’ has a multitude of experience.
When asked if gold is the goal he replied “certainly.”
“I’m one of the most experienced on the team. I’ll just keep level-headed.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)