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Daydream believer – O’Brien unaware of Byrne’s mind game attempt

Craig O’Brien is adamant he won’t give the seeds Jay Byrne attempted to plant at the Last Man Standing undercard press conference the feed they need to grow into doubt.

The Irish title hopefuls have been respectful in the build up to what could prove a show stealing fight and, while neither overstepped the mark when they took centre stage at a press conference top table, Byrne did try and get into O’Brien’s head.

He subtly promoted himself as the ‘gladiator’, stated matter of fact his fellow Dub won’t have the ability to hurt him and predicted he would win inside the distance.

Those themes were common throughout a polite top table exchange and inside every Byrne answer was a little message for his opponent.

O'Brien takes on Byrne in an eagerly anticipated Irish title fight this weekend
O’Brien takes on Byrne in an eagerly anticipated Irish title fight this weekend

It was clever from the self-managed puncher and further increased the appetite for the Irish light middleweight title fight, but as a tactic O’Brien claims it didn’t work.

In fact, so laid back was the stylist that he wasn’t even aware he had just been involved in a mind game battle.

“I was daydreaming up there,” he told Irish-Boxing.com when asked about the top table exchanges. 

“They can plant what they want, it won’t make a difference. I am just relaxed in general. I don’t talk about what I am going to do I get in there on the night and do it. I get in there and take it round by round.”

It seems ‘The Iron’ believes he doesn’t need to get a physiological edge to swing what promises to be an exciting clash his way. The Paschal Collins-trained fighter is sticking to the round by round mantra and believes if he performs to his best in every stanza he can’t be beaten.

“I honestly believe if I take it round by round Jay can’t beat me. Get in there focused, clear head, jab, move, use the feet. He can’t beat me unless he stops me. I’ll go home now then go do another few rounds in the gym, I was out on the track this morning.”

“I am buzzing I have done everything right. I am on weight, I slept early, eat right and I can’t see him beating me unless he stops me. I don’t see that happening, but it’s boxing so it’s a possibility.”

Via various means and at different points throughout the press conference, ‘The Negotiator’ made it clear he felt he had the power to hurt O’Brien while stressing his March 3rd opponent hadn’t enough pop to stop him in his tracks.

Celtic Warrior Gym puncher, O’Brien has never claimed to be a one punch knock out artist, but does have confidence in his skill set and suggests he doesn’t need brawn when he has the brains to land more punches than the former Bray Wanderers footballer.

“Everyone is talking about knockout power, but it isn’t always about one punch knockout power. It can be about accumulation of punching too. You can be surprised at times. You watch Garcia fight the weekend against Rios there was nothing in that right hand and Rios hits the deck, so they can think what they want to think about power.”

“Look I am going to stick to the game plan and, once I take it round by round, he can’t beat me, he can’t! I have a better jab than Jay, better feet, better movement, but he is strong, game and will come.”

“I am super fit too. I am putting it in the gym. I know I will be there fit in the latter rounds if needs be I hope he is too. Look I’ll have no regrets I have trained hard I have done all I can.”

O’Brien, while confident, seems extra intent on not disrespecting his March 3rd foe. The BUI Celtic champion at light middle claims, such are the respect levels he has for the welterweight BUI Celtic champion, that he has been inspired to put into his best ever pre fight camp.

‘The Iron’ also wanted to clarify he never claimed Byrne would prove a ‘handy fight’ for him.

“I think you [Irish-Boxing.com] misquoted me or misunderstood me before, you wrote I said it would be a ‘handy enough fight’. What I said or meant was I tend to build the fight up in my head and then when I get in there it’s handy for me and if that was to happen on the night it wouldn’t surprise me.”

“That’s not me disrespecting Jay I trained hard for this fella as hard as I ever have. I trained for a toe to toe war and I am ready if it does turn that way. I won’t over look him and I respect him, but I think if I do what I am told in every round I will win every round.”



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