The eager 21-year-old jumped from flyweight to super bantamweight to take on Carl McDonald in just his second fight in a move that deemed brave by both and proved entertaining for the fans.
The Bray native is willing to do it again and claims he would be happy to take another Jobstown scalp by beating Dylan McDonagh.
Buckley was one of two names suggested by Red Corner boss Jonathan Graham for Boxing Ireland fighter McDonagh at the Last Man Standing press conference. Rather than be offended by the roundabout call-out, the undefeated prospect was delighted with the link.
“I was delighted to see they were up for the fight. I’m 100% up for it,” Buckley told Irish-Boxing.com.
“As you know at this stage I am willing to fight anybody, anywhere, and I believe this will be a fantastic fight that would draw a lot of interest. In regards to the outcome of the fight I truly believe that I will win and any fighter that truly believes in themselves will say the same.”
An all-Jobstown battle had been called for by stablemate McDonald but he is one weight above bantamweight McDonagh – who missed out on his Last Man Standing undercard fight due to Storm Emma.
Buckley though has no qualms about a weight jump and reasoned how “people are talking about a derby between Carl McDonald and Dylan but Tommy McCormack said in at the press conference that Carl wouldn’t make bantamweight.”
“I moved up to just under super bantam (121lbs) for Carl and I’ll be willing move up to bantamweight to fight Dylan so the fight makes a lot of sense for him.”
Buckley’s last fight was a surprise small hall highlight of last year. His six-round clash with fellow novice pro McDonald managed to steal the ‘Celtic Clash 3’ show. A bad blood build-up played a role in that, but the fighter who is trained by his father claimed there wouldn’t be a repeat this time around.
“There would definitely be no bad blood between myself and Dylan. He’s a genuinely nice bloke and we get along well, but we’re fighters so why not make the fight happen?”
The Wicklow fighter was able to find out how ‘genuine’ his potential foe was because the two have sparred a lot. Speaking with regard to the fight, the youngster wouldn’t go beyond saying they were competitive.
“In regards to the sparring, whenever we sparred they were always good competitive rounds, I think Dylan will say the same as well. We were both around the same weight at the time as I was moving up so Dylan was great preparation for the McDonald fight.”
With World champ Ryan Burnett, London-based Prince Brady. and McDonagh the only bantams in the country, it’s quite possible if the fight was put off untill both had eight rounders it could be made for an Irish title. Buckley seems to favour that idea although it could be done sooner for the BUI Celtic strap.
“I’d want to do this fight for a title possibly an Irish title, the fight’s definitely worthy of it. Dylan’s 32 or 33 now so I reckon he would be delighted on a title shot as well. I only turned 21 on Monday so I’m only getting stronger and better all the time. I’m not getting any younger either!”
“So let’s do it for a title. I cant see any reason that this fight doesn’t go ahead. I know Dylan is interested in staying active like myself so if this does go ahead we will focus on that fully.”
The fighter, whose long-term goal is titles at flyweight flyweight, will have to do an eight rounder before he can fight for the Irish title and as result will have to wait for that tilt.
However, some argue patience isn’t his greatest virtue. It was rumoured the prospect and his team had turned down a number of possible fights as they felt the match-ups didn’t offer enough.
Buckley didn’t comment directly on said murmurings but did explain his opponent philosophy. ‘The Rocket’ claims he wants his fans to get value for ticket money and wants to be constantly challenged.
“From the day I got into pro boxing, I always said I wouldn’t ask people to buy tickets for a fight I was almost sure to win,” the self-assured fighter explained.
“I do understand the journeyman process but I think you can also get that experience in sparring and nothing will teach you your trade like tough competitive fights. There are lads out there who’ve stayed in journeyman mode for too long and fell when they faced a real challenge.”
Buckley was set to face BBBoC Central Area champion Craig Derbyshire in Bury last month. However, a shoulder injury in the build-up to the clash forced him to withdraw.
“Everything was going perfectly for the last fight I was razor sharp and ready to rock,” he lamented. “I picked up an injury the week before it in my shoulder and couldn’t use my lead hand so there was no point in going into the fight when I’m not 100%,” he continued before revealing he is well on the mend.
“The recovery is going brilliant, I rested it for a couple of weeks and I’ve been doing some rehab work strengthening the muscle and I’ve started getting back into training and it feels better than ever now thank God.”
“I’m back in training now after the shoulder injury. I’m lucky enough that Dylan said he’d like to fight me so I’m happy to fight anybody that will make my weight and I’ve no problem moving up if it’s the case. I’ve done it before and I’m sure I’ll do it again.”