The Camera might not love him as much as it does former gym mate Frank Buglioni, nor does he love it like current gym buddy Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, but Craig O’Brien [7-0] isn’t necessarily camera shy.
However, the BUI light middleweight Celtic champion claims he will be camera ignorant come March 3.
The Inner City favourite makes his TV debut in an intriguing Irish title clash with Jay Byrne on the Last Man Standing card at the National Stadium.
Opponent and BUI welterweight Celtic title holder Byrne certainly has more experience under the camera glare having fought three times on Sky broadcast Matchroom cards last year.
The former Bray Wanderers footballer believes that spotlight exposure will stand to him during the eagerly anticipated all Dublin domestic dust up which will be broadcast live around Ireland via TG4.
However, the Pascal Collins trained, O’Brien suggests he won’t be aware of any cameras to be effected by them once the bell goes in one of four all Irish clashes already to be confirmed for 2018. Indeed the Inner City favourite claimss he won’t be smiling for said cameras until after he collects the title.
“Someone asked me what will it be like boxing on tele, but listen if it’s a stadium on TV or in the club I am not going to be thinking of that lad in the corner with a camera on his shoulder. Once the bell goes I am focused on what I can do and my instincts take over. It’s great to be on TV but won’t have any effect on the fight. I won’t notice the cameras,” O’Brien told Irish-boxing.com.
The stylist is adamant he won’t be aware of the cameras once he has Byrne firing in his directions, but even more interestingly he also seems to unaware of what a win on terrestrial TV could do for his career.
The Bohemians connected light middle literally laughs off suggestions it could see him become one of the most recognisable faces in the sport outside the established names and TV regulars.
O’Brien won’t even listen to talk of how boxing on such an accessible channel changed the careers of the likes of Bernard Dunne and Willie Casey.
However, that reluctance to dream may stem from the fact he isn’t willing to look beyond the immediate horizon.
The 28 year old’s focus is on the challenge Byrne will come and how he will overcome that.
“It’s great to be on tele. If I am being honest I predicted I would be on it eventually. I was thinking more Sky or that at the time, but it’s TG4 which is great, but to be honest at the minute I don’t think how it might boost my career. It’s all about the fight and what happens in the ring not how many people see it for me at this moment,” he added before albeit in nonchalant fashion he points out he has been using a sports physiologist to help keep him focused.
“I talked to a lad last October and was telling him that I seen the BUI Celtic title as a stepping stone to the Irish title. I seen him for the first time since yesterday and he asked what do I see happening after this and I told him I don’t see anything but this fight and this title right now. I am not looking beyond this. Alan neary, I find it helpful. It’s nice to sit and talk to someone and have a yap. I wouldn’t be the first to do it. Steve Collins, Stephen Ormond, Spike O’Sullivan have all done it. There are big fights down the line, but this fight is key.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)