Ricky Nesbitt wants to be the latest Irish boxing 2022 success story.
The Holy Family Drogheda fighter was named in a 10-strong team to represent Ireland at the European Championships and travels to Armenia inspired by Team Ireland’s performances in international tournaments throughout this year.
No fewer than 17 Irish fighters have medaled across the European U22, Euro Youths and the more recent Women’s World Championships.
The success hasn’t gone unnoticed by the 2018 World University Championships bronze medalist, in fact, it’s a ‘historic’ success he wants to emulate.
Speaking on the day Ireland’s newest amateur World Champions Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke arrived home Istanbul to a hero’s welcome and proudly showing off their gold medals, Nesbitt told Irish-boxing.com: “You just have to look at Lisa O’Rourke and Amy Broadhurst, they have just done amazingly well at the World Championships, winning them outright. They won them at weights that aren’t Olympic weights but I believe they laid their marker down and I’m looking to follow suit because I want to be in [Paris] 2024 as I’m turning 27 next month.
“I’m definitely inspired, by the under 18s, under 22s and the women’s team, Irish boxing is thriving and I want to be part of such a historic year.”
The Flyweight feels better placed to win a medal having gained senior International experience in the World Championship late last year.
The 26-year-old fell at the first hurdle in Belgrade in October, losing out to the talented and decorated Nodrjon Mikakhmadaor but coin claims he picked up enough from his time away with the team and that fight to give him confidence going into these championships.
“Definitely, the World Championships have shaped me into a better boxer. I met the world #1 seed and Asian champion from Uzbekistan in the first round. I have taken a lot from that bout and continued to develop in the High Performance and also at Holy Family Drogheda with Damien McKenna.
“I am excited and buzzing to be in this environment again. I feel more mature and a more controlled excitement after having the experience of being to the World Championships.”
Not burnt by that Mikakhmadaor defeat or early World exit the little man with a big heart, who goes straight into a quarter-final bout, paid no attention to who he would be pitted against in Sunday’s draw, revealing gold is the target regardless.
“I don’t look into any fighters names or what they have won, maybe I should but I just train to my best ability with the mindset of beating the man out in front of me. The coaches have their game plans on the opponents which helps. My target is to win the championships if you’re not aiming to be the number one you’re in the wrong sport.”
48kg Ricky Nesbitt, Holy Family, Drogheda
51kg Sean Mari, Monkstown BC, Dublin
54kg Dylan Eagleson, St. Paul’s, Belfast
57kg Adam Hession, Monivea BC, Galway
60kg JP Hale, Star ABC, Belfast.
63.5kg Brandon McCarthy, St. Michael’s, Athy.
67kg Eugene McKeever, Holy Family, Drogheda
71kg Luke Maguire, Esker BC, Dublin
75kg Gabriel Dossen, Olympic, Galway.
92kg Jack Marley, Monkstown BC, Dublin