Brendan Irvine joined the two-time Irish Olympian club in London this month.
And now he wants to join the Irish Olympic medallist society.
The Belfast flyweight qualified for Tokyo 2021 in London in London earlier this month after posting a unanimous decision over Hungary’s Istvan Szaka to reach the last eight at the Copperbox Arena.
That victory qualified the St Paul’s BC man for the 32nd Olympiad on St Patrick’s Eve.
The qualifiers were postponed later that night because of the Covid -19 pandemic with 16 flyweights and feathers qualified.
“The Olympic Games is the biggest stage in boxing; therefore, to qualify for the event means the world for me. It is the best honour you can get to represent your country in an Olympic Games, and I am proud to put on the Irish vest,” Irvine told Tibor Kincses.
Irvine made his international breakthrough after claiming silver at the 2015 European Games in Baku where Katie Taylor and Michael O’Reilly won double gold and Sean McComb bronze.
A year later he lined out for Ireland at Rio 2016 but was beaten by Uzbekistan’s eventual gold medallist Shakhobiddin Zoirov.
“I had such a tough fight in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event against Hungary’s Istvan Szaka for the quota place, admitted the 24-year-old who captained the Irish team at the London qualifiers.
“The winning tactic for that fight was distance, using it to my advantage and controlling it. My younger Hungarian opponent was very good, tough and very fit. He came to win, which made it a great fight until the final bell.
“It was a strange time for everyone with the circumstances of the Covid-19 virus. The main thing was to try to stay safe and healthy.”
Irvine’s ambition is to secure the 17th Olympic medal for Irish boxing when he gets to Tokyo – and a second medal for Belfast in the Japanese capital after Jim McCourt at Tokyo 1964.
“I am going to try to fulfil my dream of getting an Olympic medal to bring home back to Ireland. I am training at home in this hard period,” he added.
“I have a bag, and a few weights. It is not great or the best one but I will make use of what I have at home.”