It’s time for Pierce O’Leary [12(7)-0] to start chasing down the European title, according to his coach Al Smith.
The IBox London boss believes the Dubliner is a ‘special talent’ with a bright future in the sport.
In fact, having watched the big punching Sheriff Street fighter take out Romanian Florin Ciorceri within 45 seconds of their WBC International light welterweight title fight in Belfast last week, he feels ‘Big Bang’ is ready for a continental adventure.
“I think by the end of the year, he should be the European champion. This kid is so special and so exciting. He’s the nicest kid you’ll ever meet,” Smith said.
Getting to the continental level will require the Dublin Docklands graduate to be handed a run of progressive fights, something Smith wants Frank Warren and Queensberry to provide for him.
“I’d like to get him out straight away. He’s only 23, he’s only 12-0, so to get out straight away – the momentum is what he needs. He’s had a little bit of time out.”
Ireland has 15 EBU European champions to date with Tommy McCarthy being the lastest Irish blue strap winner.
The likes of James Tennyson and Carl Frampton have held the belt in recent times, while Brian Magee, Bernard Dunne, Barry McGuigan, Willie Casey and Paul McCloskey are among the more recent winners.