Welterweight Josh Kelly is certain he will box at the Olympic Games in Rio next summer after his European Games competition ended with a bronze medal.
The 21-year-old beat former European champion Mahamed Nurudzinau and Ireland’s Adam Nolan en route to his semi-final showdown with home boxer Parviz Baghirov.
With Baghirov roared on by the home crowd in Crystal Hall, Kelly was beaten on points.
Yet, far from having is spirit broken, Kelly is upbeat about his future in the ring.
“I loved it,” he said. “I love fighting against the crowd. Hopefully now I’ll come back and do better in the Europeans and get to Rio. I’ll get there – put your bets on now – I’ll be there.
“I’ll take the experience. I’ve boxed three really good lads and thought I did well in all the bouts. I’ve boxed two Olympians and against a massive crowd versus an Azerbaijani, so it’s good experience.
“I’m going to take a medal. It’s not the one we wanted but a lot of people who come here want get a medal so I hope I’ve done myself and every proud.
“I gave it my all in there. I wanted that gold, but I’m on the podium now so I’ve got to take it on the chin and move on.
“It was more of a technical fight in there. I’m more of a technical boxer and he’s one as well but what can you do? I put the pressure on in the third round but that’s what you get in boxing.”
© Sportsbeat 2015