Baptism of fire! Niall O’Connor secures clash with heavy-handed Rio Olympian

Niall O’Connor [5(4)-0] faces a baptism of fire when he debuts in America on July 12th.

The Ballybrack super featherweight was confirmed for a Murphys Boxing show at the Encore Casino in Boston Harbour next month and will not be in the home corner.

O’Connor will face Venezuelan lightweight Luis Arcon [7(7)-0] in what looks to be an extremely tough test.

The South American, who fights out of California, certainly represents a significant step up for the Dubliner who scored three knockouts from three fights last year but has not fought since November.

“El Llanero de Oro’ was a top amateur. He won South American Games silver, PanAmerican Games bronze, PanAmerican Championships bronze, and Central American and Caribbean Games bronze as well as fighting at the Rio 2016 Olympics and in the World Series of Boxing.

Arcon will be familiar to Irish fans too having defeated Wexford light welterweight Dean Walsh in the 2015 World Championships in Doha.

His pro career so far hasn’t been too bad either. The 27-year-old has won all seven of his fights since debuting in Mexico in March of last year – and all seven have come inside the distance.

The majority of those victories have come against journeyman opposition either in Mexico or his home country, but his last two wins have come Stateside.

Arcon stopped Zack Ramsey in March and Jose Aubel as recent as May. Neither had any noteworthy wins on their record, but both did boast winning records sharing 16 wins between them. 

While it’s a significant step up O’Connor will no doubt see Arcon’s record as a positive rather than a negative. The fighter who trains in the Celtic Warrior Gym alongside the likes of Spike O’Sullivan, Craig O’Brien and Ray Moylette, will argue the American based South American hasn’t fought anyone of his quality and will be confident he is a different proposition to anyone on Arcon’s CV.

Indeed, most likely the confident operator will be see this fight as a genuine chance to make a real statement.

The card next month also features O’Connor’s Celtic Warriors team-mate Ray Moylette

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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Jonny Stapleton 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: