Fighting Framingham fireman O’Connor [30(11)-3(1)] is on course to challenge WBC champion Jose Ramirez [22(16)-0] on Saturday July 7th in Fresno, California, venue to-be-confirmed.
It’s a remarkable turnaround for the Murphys Boxing southpaw whose career at the top level looked all but over following a first-round knockout loss to Gabe Bracero back in 2015.
O’Connor would return a year later as an away fighter looking to raise funds for his mentorship programme as well to see what he had left – and he would defeat Jerry Thomas in Kansas. ‘Danny Bhoy’ followed this up with a win over Donegal’s Michael McLaughlin Owen for the New England and Celtic Nations welterweight titles.
After this St Patrick’s Weekend win, O’Connor passionately told Irish-Boxing.com that he was to drop down in weight and target a world title – and he now looks to have secured his dream following successive upset wins over Daniel Gonzalez and Steve Claggett in which h won and defended the WBC International Silver rankings title.
The title fight has not yet been officially confirmed by Top Rank or Murphys Boxing but is being widely discussed and reported online that the 33-year-old will be the man in the opposite corner for Ramirez’s upcoming voluntary defence.
A Celtic FC fanatic, O’Connor has spent time in Ireland in recent years, training at Paschal Collins’s Celtic Warriors Gym in Dublin. Over the years he has been called out by Irish fighters Phil Sutcliffe and Tyrone McKenna – who are set to fight in Belfast on June 30th – as well as fellow Hoops aficionado Anto Upton.
Top Rank’s Ramirez won the green belt on St Patrick’s Day, outpointing Amir Imam on the undercard of Mick Conlan’s second headline appearance at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
It had been hoped that Ramirez would enter the second season of the World Boxing Super Series which will be launched this afternoon in London but, like with WBO super middleweight champion Zurdo Ramirez last year, his promotional company are reluctant to cede control of their fighter to the format.
Six of the eight names are currently known for the 140lbs WBSS – WBA champ Kiryl Relikh, WBA mandatory and former IBF champ Eduard Troyanovsky, Ryan Martin, upcoming IBF vacant title contestants Anthony Yigit and Ivan Baranchyk, and WBC interim titlist Regis Prograis who was essentially Ramirez’s mandatory but this looks set to change.
This season of the WBSS will also feature the bantamweights, with Ireland’s Ryan Burnett, the WBA champion, competing alongside WBO titlist Zolani Tete and IBF champ Manny Rodriguez with five more to be announced.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)