Not quite the new memory we called for but it’s an Olympic boxing moment that will live long in the memory nonetheless.
Emmet Brennan’s raw and emotional interview post his defeat to World Championship silver medal winner Dilshodbek Ruzmetov in the Round of 32 this afternoon broke hearts across the nation.
Once Brennan’s family was mentioned he couldn’t contain the tears, interviewer Des Cahill threatened to join him and those watching followed suit.
The everyman operator wore his heart on his sleeve and it’s an interview that won the hearts of those who saw it.
It’s an exchange that should go into Irish Olympic boxing folklore.
“It’s heartbreaking.” An emotional Emmet Brennan speaks openly after his narrow defeat to Dilshod Ruzmetov in the men’s 81kg light-heavyweight division.#Tokyo2020 #RTESport #Olympics— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 25, 2021
Watch live – https://t.co/XnOP6grnB7
Live updates – https://t.co/ZVw5MfA4h8 pic.twitter.com/tD1E4bwP8l
When speaking to the press moments later, Brennan was more composed and reiterated he came into the Games carrying an injury. He also accepted the fact he was handed a tough draw in a weight class Kenneth Egan medalled in back in 2008.
“It was tough. I was off the pace in the first round. He caught me with a body shot at the end of the first, badly, and I’d already had a rib injury before I got in.”
“I tried to pick it up in the second round. I did pick it up, but I was too far off the pace, he was too sharp. I gave an effort but any time I got on the inside, he spoiled which was smart on his side. He did what he had to do to win. I’ve no complaints with that.”
Emmet Brennan up in the next few minutes— Joe O’Neill (@J0E_90) July 25, 2021
Haven’t seen it on Twitter before so sharing this lovely little video from Dublin North East Inner City (some of the footage used in that RTÉ promo) pic.twitter.com/hl3oVCcwdF
“It was a tough draw. You’re talking about me having been injured for the last six months. It would have been good to get an easier fight. There are no easy fights in this but obviously if you’re fighting the world number two and Asian champion you would have liked a fight or two before that. But it’s the Olympics, there are no easy fights and it’s the luck of the draw when it comes to that,” he added before looking for a silver lining.
“I didn’t realise the support I was going to get – that’s probably what made me the proudest. It’s tough. The support I got at home is unbelievable, it’s something that I never thought I’d get.”
“It’s bitter that it’s ended now but I’m thankful for the support I got. Look I enjoyed the experience but it’s not what I came here for.”
“You’ll always be hurt over that. It’s the Olympics, it’s the best athletes in the world so yeah, it’s tough. It’s very, very tough.”
There hasn’t been much talk about Brennan exploring pro options after Tokyo but his entertaining style and the fact he has proved he can connect with fans could peak promoter interest.