Preston boxer Scott Fitzgerald enjoyed a morale-boosting performance at the Algirdas Šocikas tournament in Lithuania.
Fighting as part of the GB team at the international meeting, Fitzgerald secured a silver medal in the 69kg weight category.
After easing past Sweden’s Alexander Sund in the semi-final, Fitzgerald lost a tight points decision to home boy Eimantos Stanionis, of Lithuania, in the final.
Despite failing to win gold, the Larches and Savick ABC fighter was buoyed by his display especially after he lost his National ABA crown last month when he suffered a shock loss in the North West region ABA final.
“It was a good competition,” said Fitzgerald, who is a member of GB’s elite development squad which trains at the Institute of Sport, in Sheffield.
“It was good to get out there. There were all sorts of different countries competing – Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Ukraine.
“I lost a close fight to the Lithuanian in the final, but it was a good experience.
“He was very strong and powerful so I had to box and I thought I boxed well.
“It would have taken a lot for me to get the decision against a Lithuanian in Lithuania.
“I’ve watched the fight back again and it was pretty close and I definitely think I won the last round.
“So I’m pretty happy.”
Fitzgerald, who was trained from a young age by his dad Dave, admits he was pretty down after his loss in the north west ABA final to Jack Flatley, of Gloves Bolton ABC.
The 22-year-old believes his defeat was a result of him trying to implement new skills and styles he is learning in Sheffield.
“I think I just forgot all the things I’m good at and my dad reminded me of this,” Fitzgerald said.
“I’m learning a new style at Sheffield and it’s all about mixing it all together. I felt like it was all coming together nicely in Lithuania.”
Since being picked for the GB squad, Fitzgerald is getting plenty of opportunity to see the world.
As well as Lithuania, he has been to Kazakhstan and a trip to China is on the cards later in the year. His next outing is a tournament in Cardiff against Wales and Canada, but the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, looks out of reach although Fitzgerald is not giving up hope of making the squad.
Long-term, he is eyeing a place at the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“The Commonwealths look unlikely, but you never know,” he said. “The next Olympics in Rio is a big aim. There’s a gap there in the GB squad at my weight.”