Craig O’Brien [12(1)-3(2)] believes his career Indian summer could be a bright warm one.
The 33-year-old, who suffered more than most from a lack of shows in Dublin and lost all momentum during the pandemic, tops the first show to take place in the capital city since Clash of the Titans in March of 2019, at the National Stadium this weekend.
A fight with Pavel Albrecht [14(11)-19(10)] isn’t the most exciting return but it’s a fight that could re-kick start O’Brien’s career and lead to an entertaining final chapter for ‘The Iron’.
Get a win on Saturday and O’Brien expects to be back out in his home city early next year and can foresee some big domestic clashes for his loyal following to rejoice in.
“I spoke to Tony [Davitt] and he wants to go again in March or April, so if I win on November 19 it could be an all Irish fight or another headline fight and then over the space of a year of 15 months get a bit of momentum,” O’Brien tells Irish-boxing.com.
“I only boxed three times in three years, no momentum at all, you need to be busy. I think I can do well with momentum, the busier you get the better you are. I still think I’m fresh. I think I can compete at a good level once I’m kept busy, stopping and starting, starting and stopping is no good for me,” he adds.
The light middleweight and middleweight divisions are becoming more populated and more interesting of late. Owen Duffy and Owen O’Neill fight for the BUI Celtic live on TG4 in Belfast this weekend, Paul Ryan is screaming for fights and there was rumour O’Brien and the Ricky Hatton trained Jason Quigley mentored Brett McGinty had agreed to fight on this weekend’s card but elected against it wasn’t ratified for a title.
At middleweight Graham McCormack, who has also been linked with O’Brien, defends his BUI Celtic title against Fearghus Quinn on December 10 and has Irish title aspirations.
The Dub says he is open to challenges at either weight pointing out the fact he has achieved all he set out to means he is willing to fight anyone.
“I don’t get mentioned at all and I carry the Irish title,” he says discussing the Irish scene. “I can bounce between two weights and as far as ambitions I won the Irish title, which was the goal when I started and boxing has been brilliant to me, so if I retired tomorrow I’d be happy. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to fight it means I’ve achieved what I want so I’ll fight anyone.
“I am not going to call out anyone, there were a couple of names mentioned in the background and I said yeah, but thats as far as it went. I still hold the Irish title. I won it in March 18, that was a great night, mainevent live on TG4.”
Discussing the fact retirement wouldn’t be a major blow he adds: “I’ve been busy, I’ve got the kids, college work and I was doing volunteer work which led to a job, so I’ve two days part-time youth work. That’s great, really enjoyable. I was in and out of the gym hoping for a date but there were no shows. If I didn’t fight again it wouldn’t have bothered me. I was only 33 last month but you can’t do it forever and boxing has been great to me since I turned over in 2015. I’ve had a good career. Then this came about, eight-rounder, headline, a possibility to come back next year and build, so I was like ‘ok’.