Galway light heavyweight Thomas O’Toole is the latest Irish boxer to turn professional and his switch is perhaps bigger than most.
The 2019 Elite champion and 2020 runner-up is swapping rural Connemara for Boston as he treads a path previous taken by Rocky Ros Muc Sean Mannion.
O’Toole, who has family and many links in America, has joined up with Ryan Roach’s Fighter Locker stable and is heading straight into camp for his pro debut which will be announced imminently.
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In February 2019 the Lettermullen southpaw, fighting for Celtic Eagles, won the Elite title scoring a big upset win over Tommy Hyde in the final. O’Toole, however, never saw major tournament action as Joe Ward, absent at the 2019 Elites, went pro on the eve of the 2019 European Games and young talent Kane Tucker was chosen for the 2019 World Championships.
The 2020 edition of the Elites, held in late 2019, saw O’Toole reach the final, beating pre-tournament favourite Tony Browne in the semis before losing a split decision to Emmet Brennan in the final. Dubliner Brennan subsequent qualified for the Olympics and will represent Ireland in Tokyo next week.
Now 23, Gaelgeoir O’Toole has decided to make the move to the pros and joins an exciting group of former top Irish amateurs Stateside – Ward and Matthew Tinker are both also fighting on the U.S. East Coast and will soon be joined there by Browne. Smart and strong, he is a nice addition to the scene.
Further details on O’Toole’s first steps as a pro will be reported once they emerge.