In a big jump ahead, the Wicklow fighter goes straight into an all-Irish grudge match with Dubliner Carl McDonald [2(0)-0] on the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card at the National Stadium.
Moving up in weight, it could be described as a risky move for the prospect, but that risk has provided Buckley with the motivation to go to the next level in training.
From a trip across to Manchester to regular meditation, 20 year old Buckley really has left no stone unturned ahead of the super bantamweight six-rounder.
“It’s made me train harder,” Buckley told Irish-Boxing.com when talking about the fight.
“It’s made me more motivated. I’m pushing myself a lot more, so I know I’m going to win. I love it, I love the bit of limelight as well.”
“You train a lot harder for it when you know you’re not going to get an easy win, that you’re going to have to work for it.”
“I’m training three times a day, I’m fit and ready and I’m ripped at the weight. I’ve a nutritionist on board to help us get up in weight, I’ve a proper strength and conditioning programme. It’s all muscle.”
“I’ve been sparring with super bantams, featherweights, super featherweights, lightweights, welterweights, everything – and I’ve been banging lads as well, spars have been stopped and everything. I’m definitely banging a lot more.”
There has been plenty of needle in the build-up. Jobstown fighter McDonald, who is eight years older and a naturally bigger man, has warned that he is going to hurt Buckley – but this has served to motivate rather than intimidate the Bray youngster.
“All the stuff he has been saying, he’s going to get punished for when he’s in the ring,” stated Buckley.
“Let him keep talking, he’s going to get punished for it. Let him do what he does, that’s his thing, my thing is training hard and getting the win. That’s what I’m going to do.”
“We don’t know how things are going to pan out on the night. We’re prepared for everything, prepared to box, prepared to brawl, backfoot, frontfoot, whatever they want. Whatever I have to do to get the win, I’ll do it.”
“I know he’s coming to win, I know he’s coming to apparently hurt me, but there’s no doubt in my mind at all, I’m going to win. Especially after all the training and sparring. I can just feel it in my bones.”
Headlined by the Eric Donovan v Dai Davies BUI Celtic featherweight title fight, the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card also features Gerard Whitehouse, James Cahill, Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O’Donovan, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Keane McMahon, Niall O’Connor, John Joyce and Bernard Roe.
Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from the Healthy Living Centre in Athy, by calling Laura on 086 7949 406, or online at Ticketmaster.ie.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)