The 19 year lost on a split decision to Russian Bator Sagaluev, having recovered from a slow first round to win the last round. Irvine bounced forward in the second round, pining Sagaluev to the ropes but it wasn’t enough.
“I’m proud of my achievement. I’m only 19 years of age, and it’s my first senior competition for Ireland. So there’s a lot of positives to take out of it” added Irvine, “A few negative things too”.
“I thought I’d done enough” explained Irvine. “He finished strong, but then I matched him, and finished stronger. And I thought I won the last round” which was award to Irvine 10-9 by all judges.
“I’ve mixed emotions” grimaced Irvine.”
“You’ve got to take it as it comes, but it was a close fight. I thought I’d done enough to win it in the second and third round.
“He was holding on at that stage,” explained Irvine, slumped in his seat just moments after the 28-29, 28-29, 29-28 was announced against him. “As if he didn’t want to know. I just gave it 110% in the ring. That’s all the coaches ask of me, and I’m happy enough about that, and how I’ve come on” added the 19 year old.
The majority of Irish fighters who lost in Baku, lost the first round, a trend that Irvine reversed in Baku, winning his quarter-final and semi-final wins. Though again lost his first round in the final.
“I was a bit nervous coming out, at the start” explained the 19 year old who wins a major silver medal in first senior international competition. “I adapted in the second, and the third.
“And it got a bit wild in the second round, punches flying from everywhere. That’s the way it goes” added Irvine having qualified for the World championships in x having secured the European games silver medal.
“I’ll got back to the ring, and learn from it” Irvine explained. ”I wanted the gold medal when I first came here, I never thought I’d get his far, I was pushing for it.
“It was always in the back of my mind to keep going for it and keep going for it but with the help of my team they kept telling me to keep going for it.”
Meanwhile Wicklow star Katie Taylor was cool ahead of her fight with local star Yana Alekseevna today.
“I’ve boxed many people, in their own backyard, plenty of times,” said Taylor. “In China, I boxed a Chinese girl, in the final of a World Championship. I boxed Russians, in their home nations. I actually enjoy it. The atmosphere is going to be fantastic, and these are the kind of fights I cherish.
“There’s nothing I can do about the judging, or it being their backyard, or to change the home crowd. I just go in and try to do my best, go into every fight trying to win as easy as I can. “She [Alekseevna] is a very clever boxer, so these are the kind of fights that I love.”
Taylor beat Alekseevna at the World Championships in Jeju City, South Koreain November on her way to a fifth successive world crown.
Taylor meets Alkeseevna at 8.45am Irish time today.