Craig O’Brien discuss 2021 plans and options

It’s not top of the wish list, but Irish light middleweight champion Craig O’Brien [11(1)-2(1)] is open to defending his title against Dominic Donegan [5(1)-0] in 2021.

Cavan native, Donegan muted the fight early last week, suggesting it would make sense for the proposed mixed Muay Thai and Boxing 3Arena card, providing he defeats Eddie Treacy in a mandated BUI Celtic title fight.

O’Brien, who hasn’t fought since losing to Kieron Conway in December of 2019, is fight keen and hints at other plans, suggesting he wants two warm up bouts before a big one, but is aware he can’t afford to totally close the door on domestic options.

“At the moment career wise I would like a fight or two to get back in the rhythm of things and then look for a big fight,” O’Brien told Irish-boxing.com before discussing Donegan as an option.

“I seen his manager Stephen Sharp had it up on Instagram about us fighting, plus Dom messaged me just talking about it.

“But I think that fight is a bit off. I think him and Eddie [Treacy] have to fight for a BUI Celtic title first, so I don’t know when that fight could be made for.

“For me to get a 10 round fight in and defend my title would be great. I would deffo’ be up for it. If they wanna’ give Pascall [Collins] a shout we can work something out for sure.”

‘The Iron’ looked to be benefiting from coach and manager Pascal Collin’s relationship with Murphys Boxing Stateside. However, Covid made exploring Stateside options a no go. As a ticket seller fighting at home is always a safety net, but that was taken away by the pandemic too.

“There was a plan in the works last year. I was to fight in Waterford in May then over to Boston in September for another fight, so hopefully if this Covid blows over we could end up back out there this year,” he adds before revealing he made the best out of an inactive 2020.

“2020 was bad for a lot of boxers, but I kept myself busy with family and I’m doing a college course in UCD, so that takes up a lot of your time. I also ticking away in the gym.”

O’Brien is hoping to get out early enough this year with a ring ruster being lined up in February. After that he is hoping to get busy and try and make a real mark this year.

“At the moment where talking about getting a six rounder out in Belgium around late February, so we see how that runs. I’m back in the gym working hard, I want to give 2021 a good crack and see what comes out of it,” he continues before claiming all Irish fights could be more than an option depending on circumstances.

“I would be up for domestic fights that’s what you want as a boxer. I pushed for a domestic fight for the Waterford show back in May that time because I want to be in meaningful fights.”

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