Return of The Iron – Craig O’Brien boxes to impressive comeback win

Craig O’Brien finally got back into the ring in Dublin tonight and the local favourite scored an impressive win on the ‘Unfinished Business’ bill at the National Stadium.

A lack of opportunities for O’Brien had kept him out of the ring for a full seventeen months, and he was thrown straight back into the deep end here. Stepping up to six rounds, he took on Spaniard Jorge ‘The Shark’ Vallejo on the Red Corner Promotions card in he capital

The inner-city Dub showed buckets of skill, and plenty of grit, to see out an impressive comeback points win.

Despite his long ring hiatus, O’Brien put on a punch perfect display in the opening round, boxing brilliantly from the outside and barely shipping a single shot in return.

O’Brien continued to show his boxing skills in the second, landing at will with an impressive range of shots – but the high-pressure Spaniard did find some success toward the end of the stanza.

A more even third saw ‘Tiburón’ begin to force O’Brien to the ropes but, while there, the Spaniard would land little of note.

The Dubliner began to throw more combinations in the fourth, setting his feet as the bout grew slightly scrappy.

Going into the fifth for the first time in his career, ‘The Iron’ stayed strong in the face of Vallejo’s physicality, answering back with volleys if shots that drew screams from his passionate support.

A frantic final round saw Vallejo power forward in search of the knockout he needed, but O’Brien was able to bite down on the gumshield to see out the win.

Going to the cards, the Dubliner was a deserved 60:54 winner, although this was perhaps a tad harsh on Vallejo.

The victory sees O’Brien’s record finally move up to 4(0)-0, Vallejo now moves to 2(1)-3(0) after his game display.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie