‘Delighted’ Darren O’Neill Reflects on Comeback Win

The latest chapter of Darren O’Neill’s long amateur career came at the shortest of notice.

The 36-year-old came out of left field and ended a four-year absence from the ring to compete in the first-ever Irish National Elite Championships cruiserweight contest.

The London 2012 Olympian rolled back the years to defeat one of Ireland’s most promising young fighters to take sizeable step toward an EIGHT senior title.

It was a special performance and one that makes the Kilkenny cruiser, who was close to turning professional over the last two years, favourite to win the inaugural 86kg crown.

Even more impressive is the fact the St Pauls veteran did all that on one week’s notice and with no sparring.

O’Neill revealed he only decided to enter the competition a week out from glove off.

Speaking online after the win O’Neill said: “So last week I called the boss man Ollie and told him to put my name into the Elite National Boxing Championships. Despite not having boxed in over 4 years or even sparred in over a year he agreed and earlier this afternoon I stepped back between the ropes in the quarter-final. Delighted to have been able to step back into the fold and happier again to get the win against the very good up-and-coming Kane Tucker who represented us at the last world championships and is one to watch for the future. Got a little cut but now to recover and prep for semi-finals next week.”

Ighosa Igharo of Clann Naofa awaits in the semi final and O’Neill fights another young talent for a place in the decider.

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