Craig O’Brien geared up for American pit stop this weekend

Cork and Neptune Stadium is a strange pit stop for a Dub en-route to America, but that’s exactly what this weekend is for Craig O’Brien [10(1)-1(1)].

The Inner City favourite looked likely to be part of a Dublin revolution when he won the Irish light middleweight title with victory over Jay Byrne live on TG4 in March of last year.

However, things haven’t transpired that way and, for now, the natural talent sees his future Stateside akin to the fellow Celtic Warrior Gym fighters Spike O’Sullivan and Niall Kennedy.

‘The Iron’ made his American debut against Antonio Chaves Fernandez in March of this year and plans to return in September, as he bids to build his name on Murphys Boxing cards. 

First it’s Cork and some keep busy action for the Paschal Collins-trained fighter.

“Cork came about through Paschal. I think the fella running it was on to him chatting about Spike and my name popped up and I ended up on it,” O’Brien told Irish-boxing.com.

Boston was a good trip and a brilliant experience. We are looking to get back there after this fight and build up my name out there.

“For now I’d like to build up out in America  because there’s not a lot happening in Ireland. I’d love some domestic fights but there just not there at the moment,” he adds before admitting that has proved frustrating.

“At times it’s frustrating because there would be nothing better to fight a 10 round title fight or something like that at home, but at the moment that’s not going to happen so it’s about staying active for now.”

While he may prefer bigger fights O’Brien is always content to be active and is looking forward to trading leather on this weekend’s Leeside Revolution card.

As per usual the Iron clad clan will be out in force and the grateful fighter is hopeful they will make Neptune Stadium a home away from home.

“We’re bringing a good crowd down. I would 100% rather fight in Dublin. There is no place like home, but Dublin is not great at the moment for boxing, but Cork should be good and I am looking forward to it.”

Facing O’Brien on the Martin Horgan-run show will be Radoslav Mitev [13(4)-51(18)-2] a fighter with plenty of Irish experience. 

The veteran journeyman has been in with a host of Irish names and has upset previous. He defeated Michael Harvey in Belfast in just his second pro fight and stopped Martin Wall as recently as November of last year not long after losing to Tony Nellins.

O’Brien should have too much and be too big for the game operator, but is aware he will have to keep his wits about him.

“I don’t know a lot about my opponent, but he beat Martin Wall  the last time he was in Dublin, so I have to be on the ball. No doubt he will be looking to do the same again so I’ll have to make sure I get the job done.”

O’Brien is confident of getting the job done just like he did the last time he was there, but may not be as cocky this time around.

“I boxed in Cobh when I was about 11 as a amateur in my old Prince Naseem shorts. I won that time so I’ll be looking to do the same again,” he smiles before thanking his supporters and sponsors.

“I have to say thank you to everyone travelling down. It means a lot to me. I appreciate everyone for the support and those who have helped me out. My Sponsors Dublin Plumbling and Gas, Carrickeast Construction, Bowbell Security Systems, and www.fabricsIreland.com.

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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: [email protected]