Irish light flyweight Brendan Irvine believes that he is able to go one better than Belfast friend and rival Paddy Barnes and win a medal at the World Championships.
‘Wee Rooster’ is part of a seven-strong Irish team currently preparing in Assisi, Italy, ahead of the tournament which is being held in Doha, Qatar.
Unlike Barnes, 19 year old Irvine is not an outspoken fighter, and is wary of making bold predictions ahead of the championships, explaining to the Irish News that “I don’t like to say I’m going to go and win gold or do this or that because I’m not that kind of person.”
However, the St Paul’s boxer does share two very important qualities with the two-time Olympic bronze medalist and amateur legend – confidence in himself and world class talent. Irvine noted that “I’ve been in with most of the boxers at the weight – the Ukrainian, the Cuban, the Azeri – so there’s no reason why I can’t go all the way.”
As most are aware, if Irvine makes the final of next week’s tournament, he will guarantee himself Ireland’s second Olympic qualification quota position. Of course, both would not be able to go to the Rio 2016 Olympics, and talk has already began about a potential Olympic box-off between the pair.
Irvine however is tired of talking about the situation, especially considering that he feels he has little chance of obtaining the Olympic place. The youngster feels that “you do be sick talking about it because anybody you talk to is asking the same questions because it’s been in the paper the last few weeks and months,”
“If I qualify , then there’s two at the weight and they’d have to pick, but there’s a very slim chance they’d pick me because Paddy’s Paddy.”
“I get on well with Paddy, we’re down in Dublin together and we don’t even talk about it. If it [a box-off] happens, it happens.”