American Dream a real possibility for Irish champion Craig O’Brien


It’s a long trip to Mayo for now, but Craig O’Brien [8(0)-1(1)] claims America may await in 2019.

The Irish light middleweight champion populates the undercard of gym-mate Ray Moylette’s TG4-broadcast ‘Homecoming’ card this Friday night and is looking to get back to winning ways.

The Inner-City Dub, who is starting to become something of leader over at the Celtic Warrior Gym, lost via knockout to Anthony Fowler live on Sky Sports Box Office when he took the step up back in July and just wants to put that reverse behind him at the Royal Theatre Castlebar.

Croatian Almin Kovacevic [12(4)-27(11)-3] isn’t expected to cause a fighter with ‘The Iron’s’ skill-set any really problems and O’Brien just want to have his hand raised so he can look forward to returning to the spotlight in the New Year.

One of the big things that might happen in 2019 is a fight in Boston on St Patrick’s Day.

Nothing is set in stone as of yet but many of his Celtic Warrior Gym stable mates have fought on Murphys Boxing cards and built fan bases abroad and there is no reason O’Brien couldn’t do the same.

“This is boxing and anything can happen, but there is talk of America, please God you never know,” a cautious but somewhat excited O’Brien told Irish-Boxing.com.

“I know Paddy’s Day is going to be a big day over there and with me having the Irish title I could probably defend it over there. I don’t know. We will see, but there could be something there for me.”

Regardless of whether it’s in America or back home, the popular fighter is just hoping to go into 2019 on the back of a win.

“It’s good to be back. Lets get this out of the way and see what 2019 holds. It’s just about getting through the ropes again and winning again.”

“I think the opponent has 12 wins and over 20 loses so he’s not bleedin’ expected to win really,” he says of the six-round off-TV fight.

“Obviously I have to be careful, but the thing is just to get the win and get the last fight behind me.”

In print it might look like defeatist talk. O’Brien may look in danger of looking beyond this fight and failing to get up for it on the back of two TV appearances. However, he is adamant he not suffering from a lack of motivation rather just being realistic.

“It’s not that I am not motivated, but I know what it is. I have been training very hard and there has been a push with the three of us [O’Brien, Moylette, and Spike O’Sullivan] on the show and training together. It’s actually good to be on a show with Spike for the first time. It’s going to be a good night.”

“Fight-wise you just want to get the win now, please God and relax over Christmas and go fresh into next year.”

“It’s not that I am in a bad place, absolutely not,” he adds when pushed on the fact he was looking to 2019.

“I have been buzzing in training, but I know what this fight is. Get back to winning ways and hopefully look back toward bigger fights. I am in a good place. I still have the Irish title and their are options there for me in 2019.”

The BUI Celtic and Irish title winner is known for bringing a vocal support to his fights and that won’t change despite his next fight being way out west. In fact, O’Brien is expecting a real party atmosphere for his tenth pro outing.

“I think I have 80 people and counting coming down from Dublin who will create an atmosphere and I can’t let them down.

“I just said to Daniel [O’Sullivan, sparring partner] during the week, sometimes you can do less for the National Stadium and you go down there and they are mad to go. It’s great and we are all in the same hotel so it should be a good night they all love a night away.”

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com