Rocket ready for International take-off – Buckley excited ahead of European Games

Having won his first ever National Elite title earlier this year, Regan Buckley now wants to cement his status as a world operator by medaling in his first ever major international tournament.

The St Teresa’s operator was one of the more emotional winners on Senior Finals night as he accomplished a childhood dream he thought had passed him by when he turned pro –  and he wants to ensure he makes the most of second amateur chance.

The fairy-tale continues as Buckley was selected to represent Ireland at the European Games in Minsk and gets to wear the Irish singlet in a major international contest for first time in his career.

However, representing Ireland isn’t enough for the young Bray native. ‘Rego’, who had two pro fights before returning to the amateur set-up, wants to secure precious metal when he trades leather in the Belarussian capital next month.

“I’m really exited. The fire is well and truly burning in the belly now in training. It’s going to be an amazing experience over there at such a major event. These Games only come around every four years,” Buckley told Irish-boxing.com.

“I’ll definitely be looking to medal as we all will. The teams got a good positive attitude towards it and everything’s coming together nicely. I’ll be looking to stamp my name on the international scene over here but I’ll take it one fight at a time.”

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The ‘Rocket’ was one of the eye catching performers during this year’s National Elite campaign. The Wicklow fighter felt his displays warranted a first shot at Senior International level, but admits there are still things to work on.

“I knew that the tournament was coming up so in the back of my mind after the Elites I had I feeling that I might be sent,  I’d hoped I would be.”

“I had been working hard in my boxing club St. Teresa’s BC with my father working on flaws from the Elites and I was delighted to hear that I was picked,” he adds.

Whilst this is the Elite light flyweight champion’s first ever major International tournament it’s not his first time fighting boxers with international experience.

Buckley won the Haringey Box Cup last year and competed in a multi nations tournament in October – and he believes the latter competition will really stand to him going out to Minsk in late June. 

“This is my first major tournament as a senior elite so it is a brilliant opportunity for me to showcase my skills on this stage.”

“I had a multi nations tournament last October with a lot of top countries like China, Uzbekistan, Russia, Italy, France, and GB. They brought over first teams so it was a very strong tournament and great preparation and experience for me.”

“I didn’t perform up to my standard in that tournament but I’ve addressed the problem and will be a new man this time around. This experience will definitely stand to me in these Games. It is special as it is something I will always remember but also a great stepping stone for me,” he notes before predicting tough competition in the second installment of the tournament.

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“The competition will be stiff with some of the world’s best boxers in every division. I can’t wait for the challenge that it brings and I’ll certainly be ready for it.”

“I want to do a big shout-out to all the coaches and boxers from my boxing club St. Teresa’s BC who have worked so hard with me to get me where I am today.”

“And, especially, to my sponsors – 3Scaffolding, Coach Inn Bray, and Supreme Altitude and Fitness Center – for all their support I couldn’t train full-time without them by my side.”

 

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]