The great American heavyweight Jack Dempsey described a champion as “someone who gets up when he can’t.”
But while Leona Maguire is hardly sprawled on the canvas despite agonisingly missing out at Stage II of the LPGA Tour Q-School by a single shot last month, she looks to another boxing great as her inspiration for what to do next.
Fellow Olympian Katie Taylor has been a guiding light for Leona and her twin sister Lisa throughout their careers.
And having seen how the Bray fighter picked herself up after her Olympic quarter-final loss in Rio two years ago to become a professional world champion, she’s not feeling sorry for herself but planning to come back stronger than ever.
“We used to meet Katie at awards ceremonies every Christmas and we stayed with her in a little apartment pod in Rio,” explained Leona, who is a KPMG 20x20 ambassador, working on a campaign designed to attain 20pc more media coverage for women in sport, 20pc more female participation and 20pc more attendance at women's events by 2020.
“I learned as much from how she handled that loss, which was probably one of the biggest moments of her career, as I learned from watching all her victories down the years.
“Her class and all the hard work she has done makes her an incredible role model for anybody in Ireland not just for girls in sport but for life in general.
“What impressed me most was the fact that she wasn't feeling sorry for herself but took responsibility for what happened and started thinking about what she had to do to come back even stronger the next time.
“It's the same with me with what happened at Q-School. There is no reason for me to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I have to make a plan for the next round.
“It doesn't matter that I missed by one shot I could have missed by 20 and still be in the same position. I have to take stock of that and see how best I can move forward and get it the next time.”
Leona, who turns 24 at the end of this month, only began her professional career in June after a stellar amateur career and showed straight away that she has the game to make it big when she finished tied 15th on her professional debut in the LPGA Tour’s Shoprite Classic in Atlantic City.
She then had to concentrate on the second tier Symetra Tour for the remainder of the season and having started late, had just 13 events to try and make the top 10 money winners who were awarded LPGA Tour cards.
Stephanie Meadow made it, but despite combining two top-three finishes with just three missed cuts, Leona finished 37th and had to go to Stage II of the LPGA Q-School.
She missed out by just one shot there, but she’s far from disheartened and simply more determined than ever to come out swinging with her sister Lisa at the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School next month before heading back to the US in the New Year to try again.
Targeting better putting and a better strike on the par-fives, she knows she will be better prepared in 2019 as she will know all the courses and have a full season to try and win her LPGA Tour card.
She also knows she will be playing a vital role in inspiring for others to follow in her footsteps, which is what the 20x20 initiative is all about.
“I think it’s a fantastic initiative and something I am very proud to be a part of,” Leona said. “It's a great idea to try and increase participation, attendance and media coverage by 20 per cent by 2020.
“For myself and Lisa, we looked up to Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke when we were growing up and got to meet them a few times.
“We got to listen to them and hear them talk and give advice. Annika Sorenstam was there too, but when looking for other female role models, we had to look to other sports almost — people like Katie Taylor and Sonia O'Sullivan or Venus and Serena Williams."
As for boxing, she has no plans to don the gloves and spar with Katie just yet though they have had a putting contest.
“We had putting into cups in the room in Rio, so she has given golf a little go,” Leona said with a chuckle. “I've never tried boxing. It would be great for strength and cardio, but I need my hands and my wrists!”
Leona hopes to pack a serious punch with her clubs instead and all going well, she will be going toe to toe with the best in the world by 2020.