With his move into the paid game, Wicklow fighter Regan Buckley has become Ireland’s youngest pro boxer.
Still just 19, ‘Rocket’ Regan has plenty of years ahead of him following his early defection from the amateur game.
However, despite his tender age, there is a certain maturity about the teenager. A coach at his local club, St Teresa’s in Bray, Buckley approaches his new career path with a calm assurance.
“I’ve a lot of time to develop,” he told Irish-Boxing.com yesterday at the It’s A Bout Boxing Ireland press conference in Dublin whih announced his debut date – Saturday April 1st at the National Stadium.
“I can just take my time now that I’m starting a bit younger [than most]. I think I have a style for it [professional boxing]. A lot of people have said that I have a style for it as well. I can go aggressive and go in and have a war, but I can box different ways as well, I can counter-punch and mix it up too.”
A two-time national champion (Youth 1 and Intermediate) as well as runner-up in the most recent Senior Elites, it’s a big jump for Buckley considering that the light flyweight division seemed to be opening up. However, for him, it was a jump that needed to be taken. Buckley explained how “I was just a bit sick of the decisions and the judging. Championships seemed predictable. I think they [the IABA] have their favourites in every weight class. It’s almost like their picked before the boxing starts.”
“You have lads who have been in the high performance since they were young. It just makes it a bit harder for other lads to get a look-in and I just got sick of it”
While light flyweight (49kg) is probably his optimal weight in the pros, Buckley plans to initially campaign at bantamweight (53.5kg). The reason for this is mainly geography. Europe is currently home to just two light flyweight boxers (and 43 flyweights), while at bantamweight there are 96 European boxers
To allow him to have regular fights, Buckley will be facing larger men at first. The prospect of this doesn’t worry the youngster whatsoever and he reasoned how “I definitely feel I have the power and strength. I’ve sparred, in our club and different club, with lads up to 69kg and it’s not a bother about power, I’m well able to handle it. The power wont be an issue.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show