TALENTED Penarth boxer Haaris Khan suffered an early exit in the Commonwealth Games, but the young athlete is already looking ahead to his next challenge.

Mr Khan, 22, gave an exclusive interview to the Penarth Times prior to the commencement of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

He lost his first round bout in his debut Commonwealth Games against eventual bronze medal winner Lewis Richardson, from England.

Mr Khan was slightly disappointed that he fought Mr Richardson so early on, as both boxers were among the strongest in the 75kg division and would normally be expected to clash later on in seeded competitions.

"I ended up drawing the favourite in the first fight and we're the only two fighting," said Mr Khan.

"I took it as it came and I was very comfortable with it because me and this boy just done a lot of sparring in the two weeks prior [to the Games]."

Unfortunately, the fight did not go as planned for Mr Khan as he lost the opening round on points.

Aware of this, Mr Khan implemented a more aggressive game plan so he could take control of the bout.

However, he then lost the second round after a points deduction and tried to knock his opponent out in the third and final round in a final attempt to win.

Although he took the final round, Mr Khan just had too much to do and lost the fight on points.

Mr Khan said: "He got the first round under his belt and since then I felt like I was chasing the fight.

"He [Mr Richardson) is very experienced and he played everything very well, he knew what to do at the right time.

"I was devastated to be honest, I can't even put it into words.

"Four years work, you build up to it and it's over that quickly.

"I'm definitely a lot more optimistic of what's to come and I'm glad of the experience of going to the Commonwealth Games.

"I would have preferred to get a medal, but even though I didn't get one that doesn't take away from the level that I'm at."

Despite losing the fight, Mr Khan was proud of the support he received from friends and family, who all praised him for how entertaining his fight was.

Although competitors could leave the athlete's village once their event was over, Mr Khan decided to stay to support his teammates.

He described living in the village as "surreal" and a place where everything was catered for - and where it was impossible for athletes at the games to spend money.

However, the security was understandably intense and athletes could not really come and go easily, which became a bit grating after two weeks.

Mr Khan felt like this environment was good for keeping focused on "the task at hand", but it was difficult for him after he lost his fight early on.

Mr Khan said: "Hanging around for two weeks and knowing that you are over is not good for you mentally.

"I was training every day alongside my teammates kepping team morale up - I didn't want to be sulking, for lack of a better word."

Now Mr Khan is enjoying some time away from training, but is looking forward to his next challenge.

He will be remaining an amateur as he wants to experience more events like the Commonwealth Games and he feels he has not won enough at this level to move to professional boxing yet.

He has one eye on the next Olympic Games but is more immediately concerned with several boxing championships that will be held in the intervening time.