Brendan Irvine believes the experience of boxing at the Rio Olympics will stand to him as he builds toward another Olympic cycle.
The Belfast flyweight, nicknamed “Wee Rooster”, was beaten by Uzbekistan’s eventual gold medallist Shakhobidin Zoirov on his Olympic debut in Rio last month.
“The fella I fought was the better boxer on the day,” admitted the St Paul’s BC man.“That’s what it came down to. After the fight I knew he was going to win the gold medal and he did.
“He was very tricky. His distance was very good. He knew when I was in range and out of range so he made it hard for me. I did everything I could, that’s all anyone can really ask for.
“I can actually call myself an Olympian now, but obviously when you go away you want to bring back a medal and do yourself and your family proud, added Irvine, who claimed two Irish Elite titles at two different weights last year.
“I suppose it’s just the luck of the draw. If I had have been on the other side of the draw then there is no reason why I couldn’t have come home with a medal.”
Irvine reckons that while one door has now closed another will open next year with the Irish, World and European Championships on the immediate horizon in a busy 2017.
“I’m still only 20 years of age. There’s a long road ahead as an amateur yet. There’s four years to go (to Tokyo 2020) and they will fly by, said the European Games silver medallist and youngest member of the Irish Rio 2016 boxing squad.
“I’ll get back training, hopefully win the Seniors and get back for next year. One door closes and another opens, so I will just move on, get one with life and boxing.”