By Jonny Stapleton
KENNY Egan claims a lack of ‘balls’ not talent threaten to prevent him fulfilling his Olympic potential, but is adamant physiological doubts won’t stop him qualifying for London 2012.
The Beijing silver medallist believes he had the ability to compete at the highest level in 2000 and 2004, but hadn’t got the mental strength to deal with the pressure surrounding Olympic qualifying. That lack of confidence in key fights nearly cost him his place in the 2008 Olympics, but according to the 10 time Irish champion won’t hinder him again.
Egan has been granted a London 2012 life line after Joe Ward failed to qualify via this years World Championships. If the Amateur legend can beat the young pretender in the Irish Nationals early next year he will compete in Turkey in April for one of the three remaining light heavyweight slots for London.
The Clondalkin native admits it won’t be an easy task, but said if he does get beaten it will because of his opponents ability with his fist not Egan’s troubles with his head.
“It was a struggle to qualify for me over the years. Honestly I hadn’t got the balls. I hadn’t got the balls to step on that podium. I wasn’t ready. I nearly didn’t have the balls in 2008 too. I could have bottled it but eventually I made it in the last qualifying campaign. I started taking it day to day and focused on living In the now. It took me 18 years to get to the top and a lot of what held me back was physiological,” Egan told Mirror Sport.
“It won’t happen me again. I am hungry again. I am back in business. I am training and focused. I am looking to get the upper hand on Joe Ward in the Nationals next year and get back on top. Then the aim will be qualifying for the games. After that I will be looking at medalling again. It is far easy and its one step at a time, but I will try. If I loose at any stage on that path it will be because I was beaten by a better man not because I hadn’t the bottle or balls.”