The Santry heavyweight spent four years away from the ring but returned this year and is currently on a streak of titles – and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.
O’Brien won the Irish Senior [Intermediate] title on Friday night, showing equal levels of skill and greit to outwork and outlast former underage star Martin Mongan in the 91kg decider.
At 25 he was the oldest champion on the night but the Dubliner has missed out on years of action and training which meant his age was little, if any, advantage in the ring.
O’Brien explained to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards how “I won an Irish title at Boy 3, years ago, boxed for a few years, took a break for four years, and since I’ve started back last year I’ve been on a good run.”
“I’d proper given it up and I didn’t think I was ever going to take it back up until I joined the Army and entered the All-Army Championships for old times sake and I fell in love with it again.”
“I’ve won the Monkstown Box Cup, the Irish Army Championships, the Celtic Box Cup, Leinster Seniors, it’s going well.”
O’Brien wasn’t going to be denied by the talented Mongan and took a 3-2 split on the night. He described how “the gameplan was to go to the body.
“He was a very tough opponent, a very good boxer, I’d seen him, he had three fights in the tournament like I did.”
“I’d watched him and knew he was a lovely boxer and knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy fight. From watching it back we came up with the gameplan to go to the body, pressure, pressure, pressure. go to the body, hook, move off to the head.”
“It seemed to work for us, he was gassed a bit in the last round but he put up a hell of a fight, it was a hell of a contest”
“I enjoyed it – well, now that I’m out of the ring, I enjoyed it! While I was in there, it was tough, I did feel it in the last round.”
Bitten by the bug again, O’Brien wants to continue building momentum ahead of the Elites in February.
The latest Irish boxing soldier outlined how “I’m just training, training every day, and I have to thank my job as well. Everyone in work is great, they support me.”
“I’ve a lot of people to thank, Major Watson, and, especially Paddy Daly, I’m close to Paddy, he’s my coach with the Army and with Santry and he’s always bringing me off training and sparring at clubs.”
“I’m going to continue up, I’m looking at the Elites now, I’m going to keep training, no break, straight back into the gym and the big picture is the Elites in February.”