Regan Buckley aims to fight former World title challenger OR will return to amateurs

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Unbeaten flyweight prospect Regan Buckley [2(0)-0] has big choice to make.

The 21-year-old is in talks with both the IABA regarding a return to the amateur game as well with a former World title challenger for a major step up.

‘The Rocket’ looked set for blast off after moving up in weight to win an exciting all Irish clash against Carl McDonald in just his second pro bout.

However, seven months later and the Bray youngster hasn’t traded leather again and is becoming increasingly frustrated.

Indeed, Buckley claims if he doesn’t secure a fight with former Paddy Barnes foe Silvio Olteanu he may be seen in a vest again.

“To be honest I am tempted to go back amateur because I can’t get a fight In the pros,” Buckley, who saw a fight with BBBoC Central Area champion Craig Derbyshire set for February cancelled told Irish-Boxing.com.

“My Dad has been onto the High Performance coaches already about it.”

The light flyweight spot on the Irish team has been up in the air since the departure of Barnes to the pros.

Last year’s Elite Senior champion Blaine Dobbins was not taken to the European Championships, while this year’s winner Connor Jordan was not brought on the tour of America or to the European Under-22s – suggesting that there could be a slot for Buckley to fulfil.

Some would argue the ambitious young pro’s admirable desire to only take serious tests or noteworthy fights may have resulted in that period of inactivity, especially considering there are more shows in Ireland at present than any other era.

The fighter himself has admitted the way the game is run and what is expected of a novice pro doesn’t sit easy with him, making him consider a return to the structures of the IABA and AIBA.

Buckley was hopeful of a rematch with McDonald in 2018 and was linked with another fellow little man Dylan McDonagh – but suggests the Boxing Ireland-managed fighters are being steered away from him.

“Boxing Ireland control the two lads around my weight and are closing any doors for me to move forward,” he stated.

“I put it out that I wanted the McDonagh fight and he seemed up for it. Then all of a sudden we hear nothing from them. After that, I put it out that I wanted the McDonald fight offering him a second chance because he made excuses and he agreed to it on Facebook then, same again, we hear nothing after that.”

“My coach knew he wasn’t going to take the fight. It means I can’t get a fight without paying a journeyman to lose.”

Being given the right to reply, Boxing Ireland said “good luck to Regan, he’s a fantastic talent and had a great win last time out on Celtic Clash, but It’s not Boxing Ireland Promotions job to ‘open doors’ for fighters we don’t manage.”

“We are open to making either of the fights. There are correct channels that offers need to be made through and Facebook isn’t one of them. If his manager Tony Davitt wants further discussions about Regan’s aspirations then I’m open to that.”

“Carl fancies the rematch and Dylan is up for the fight but he has only had a four-rounder so far. Hopefully be in a position to fight for a title by the end of the year. When he’s ready we will sit down with Dylan, his coach Frank Stacey and Ian Gaughran to discuss what is best for our fighter. I’m sure all these fights can be made in time.”

Buckley turned pro at the turn of last year and this route seems to be his ideal choice. However, he wants to be fast-tracked and revealed that he is in advanced talks with former European champ and World title challenger Silvio Olteanu.

Beating the Spain-based Romanian, who was live and entertaining against double Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes, in just his third fight would prove a massive statement and would perhaps vindicate his decision not to bide his time and keep active in any way he can.

The Wicklow puncher outlined how “my managerial side can’t even get me a fight I really want and that’s Silvio Olteanu, the fighter Paddy [Barnes] boxed for the WBO European title.”

“We have a third party looking into getting the fight made and they are over half way there.”

“If I can get that fight it’ll be an opportunity to get myself out there, but if not it doesn’t look like I’ll be waiting around when I can fight without paying anything in the amateurs,” he added before stressing if a return to the vest would result in great success for himself and Ireland.

“If I do go back amateur I’ll make European, World, and Olympic level,” Buckley confidently claimed.

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo

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