No Olympic regrets for Irvine: “I did everything I could”

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Brendan Irvine has made no excuses for his opening round loss at the Rio Games and has promised to build upon his Olympic experience.

The Belfast flyweight was defeated by Uzbek Shakhobidin Zoirov, the eventual gold medallist.

Reflecting on the Round of 32 loss last month, Irvine admitted that “the fella I fought was the better boxer on the day.”

“That’s what it came down to. After the fight I knew he was going to win the gold medal and he did.”

Describing his Central Asian opponent, the Ulster man described how “he was very tricky. His distance was very good. He knew when I was in range and out of range so he made it hard for me.”

“I did everything I could, that’s all anyone can really ask for.”

The St Paul’s ABC man noted that “I suppose it’s just the luck of the draw. If I had have been on the other side of the draw then there is no reason why I couldn’t have come home with a medal.”

“I can actually call myself an Olympian now, but obviously when you go away you want to bring back a medal and do yourself and your family proud.”

With the futures of much of the eight-strong Irish team up in the air, Irvine has definitively stated that he will remain in the amateur set-up and target the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – as well as two further World and European championships.

The European Games silver medalist explained how “I’m still only 20 years of age. There’s a long road ahead as an amateur yet. There’s four years to go and they will fly by.”

“I’ll get back training, hopefully win the Seniors and get back for next year.”

“One door closes and another opens, so I will just move on, get on with life and boxing.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: