Resilient Ricky Nesbitt believes the learning he did at the World University Championships will stand him in good stead as he graduates to the real thing over the coming week.
The Holy Family Drogheda fighter was named on a seven-strong team to represent Ireland at the World Amateur Championships in Belgrade.
It’s the first time the 26-year-old will represent Ireland at elite senior level, but it’s not the first time the little man with a big heart will have worn the Irish crest.
Nesbitt won bronze at the 2018 World University Championships and believes that time in Russia will stand to him.
“I can take great knowledge and experience from the World Universities,” he told Irish-boxing.com before reveling that tournament proved a real springboard for his current success.
“My experience in the World University Championships has given me a platform to get to where I am today. The competition was very tough and I learned and gained confidence. Plus I was boxing at 52kg at the time, which didn’t suit me. I’m actually making 48 Kgs pretty handy now after being in Holy Family Drogheda for the past 4 years and sticking to a disciplined plan.”
Nesbitt, who picked up his first National Elite crown earlier this month, albeit via walkover, may not have been viewed as a cert for International selection as recent as last year. However, he has shown a real fighting spirit in and out of the ring over the years and is not one to be written off.
The 48kg representative battled back from a career-threatening injury to eventually become Irish champion and has now stepped onto the Parisian walkway.
“Paris [2024}is a real goal,” he explains. “I won Novice Championships in 2013 and by 2014 I was out of boxing. I was out for four years, as you know. I came back and lost two Elite finals, and then obviously won the Elites this year. I have shown I am here to stick around.
“At 26 I’m coming good, I have three years of international experience and training to look forward to. I know I will be there, believing is the main thing to success and I believe in myself 100%.”
While he has Paris and Olympic aspirations, the World Championships are next for the Dundalk fighter – and he goes to Belgrade confident if he performs he can make a noteworthy impact.
“The goal going to Belgrade is to perform to my 100% capacity and after that everything else will fall into place the way it is meant to. If I produce my best and perform I will beat anybody in my weight category, so it’s important to just focus on performing,” he adds before revealing how excited he was to hear of his selection.
“It was very exciting, an overwhelming moment that I had to brush down pretty quickly to keep my focus.”