Carlow 17 year old considering pro move

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Last Thursday, selected Irish boxing heads assembled at the All Saints club in Kimmage for a behind closed doors sparring session.

Boxing Ireland Promotions were announcing four new signatures while the stable’s star Eric Donovan did the rounds with Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, and Colin O’Donovan.

Following the conclusion of Donovan’s stint, a young boxer got in the ring with Togher fighter O’Donovan and impressed onlookers. That fighter was 17 year old Matty O’Leary, and the Carlow kid is considering a move the paid game.

The Bunclody bantamweight didn’t compete at the recent Under 18 championships due to his pending Leaving Certificate examinations. With those tests now out of the way, O’Leary is leaning towards taking on some new challenges under Boxing Ireland Promotions.

O’Leary told that “I’m in the middle of deciding whether to turn pro or not with the help of my club trainers, who have been there from the start.”

“They know best, but personally I can see myself making the switch soon.”

“I’m still young, 17 years of age, just finished my Leaving Cert a week ago so I have lots of time to turn pro and time for improving.”

A three-time Leinster champion, southpaw O’Leary describes himself as a fighter that “likes to pick shots and move, but I don’t mind trading either.”

“I’m at the stage where I want to move on from amateur to the pros, not because what I achieved, but because I think it’ll suit me better.”

“I’ve always wanted to box like a pro and box in front of a big crowd.”

Understandably, considering O’Leary’s age, Boxing Ireland Promotions are not pressuring the youngster into making a choice.

Stephen Sharpe explained how “I met up with Matty last week to have a chat and watch him sparring. He is a really nice, down to earth kid with a lot of talent. ”

“While he really wants to turn over, I did express my concerns about him being so young and suggested another year or so fighting as an amateur might be his best option. I will continue to stay in touch with Matty and see what final decision he arrives at.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: