BRENDAN Irvine is ready to make the step up in weight in order to get on the road to Rio.
The St Paul’s teen claimed his 12th Irish title, his first at Senior level in the National Stadium last Friday night and instantly set his sights on the 2016 Olympics.
Not only does the new Irish champion believe Paddy Barnes place on the plane to Rio is already booked, but he feels he will out grow the 49 kg weight class pretty soon.
As a result he plans to move up to 52kg’s where he will be hoping for a box off.
Speaking to Irish-boxing.com after Friday night’s victory his coach Ralph McKay said.
“Rio is 18 months away, he is 49kg now but he is still a growing kid as soon as next week he will be in the 52 kg category and with this success and the talent this kid has we will be looking for a box off at 52. We know Paddy Barnes will be going to RIO at 49, but 52 suits us. He hasn’t fully matured yet he is still a young kid but over the next 18 months he will ready for a 52 kg box off.”
Irvine agreed with his coaches comments, but took time to reflect on his achievement rather than look forward.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said of the win admits posing for pictures with family and friends. “This what you dream of when you start boxing. People always said to me ‘you can win all the Junior titles you want, but it is the Senior ones that matter’. Now I have my first Senior title at 18 years of age and I am over the moon.
“I have to praise Ralph Mckay he is an inspiration to every boxer in our club and the other coaches for the time and effort they put in. It was a tough final, I knew Hughie was going to come and bring it to me, but I was mentally prepared, focused, sharp and this was my time.”