Regan Buckley has decided to retire from boxing at just 22 years of age.

The Bray-native won a bronze medal at last summer's European Games in Minsk, but cited financial worries as his main reason to call it a day.

Despite his achievement last summer, Buckley did not quality for High Performance funding from Sport Ireland.

"I’m after deciding to pack in boxing," Buckley told Irish-Boxing.com.

"It was way too hard for me to keep on going training full-time and not have an income. I was expected to be in the High Performance training Tuesday to Friday each week and then weeks abroad at competitions and training camps.

"All of this without any funding whatsoever. My only source of income was €44 euro a week from the social welfare and for a 22-year-old man it was impossible to even attempt to live off that.

"It was something always on my mind, worrying how I’m going to pay for anything at home, insurance, phone bills, rent. Had it not been for the help of my sponsors I wouldn’t have had a penny to my name when travelling abroad or wouldn’t have been able to get essential sparring gear.

"I did enquire many times about getting on funding with the High Performance but I was told it wasn’t possible each time. Even after winning a bronze medal in the European Games. I am ranked number 3 in Europe and number 7 in the world but still had nothing to show for it.

"I put many years of hard work into this sport but the last year had been very tough for me to try and carry on and it finally got to a stage where it didn’t feel worth it anymore. So much worry and stress that nobody sees, just in the small chance that I get selected for a team. So I’m finished up now got myself a full-time job."

Buckley was beaten by Gallagher in November

Winning a medal at the European Games gave Buckley a good shot at the qualifiers for the Olympics.

Thereafter though he was beaten by Jude Gallagher in the Irish elite championships, thus opening the door for Brendan Irvine, who fought at the Rio games.

'The Wee Rooster' was chosen ahead of Buckley to represent Ireland in the European Olympic qualifiers, and it was this decision that made Buckley decide that enough was enough.

If Belfast’s Irvine failed to qualify via the European qualifying route, Buckley could be selected for the World qualifiers set for Paris and May, but he said that it's too late for him.

"I won’t be hanging on for the second qualifiers," he added.

"I feel like the High Performance had most of the team picked a long time ago, so hanging in for another few months of the same stuff and hoping I’ll get a chance just wasn’t possible financially."