‘Everyone knows who I am now’ – Dublin prospect Pierce O’Leary reacts to ‘special’ debut

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‘Big Bang’ certainly made a big impression in the Ulster Hall on Friday night.

Everything about Pierce O’Leary’s debut screamed pure excitement and the wider fight fan got exposed to a prospect it looks like it will be fun to follow.

The energy levels increased even before the teen threw his first punch as his vocal following raised the roof come work rate time.

The already raised roof was blasted further skyward during his four round contest as he went all out to land big on Oscar Amador from first to last second.

Speaking after the high octane and extremely entertaining debut the 18-year-old hadn’t quite come down from the debut buzz, but was smart enough to note the manner of his performance and indeed the nature of the fight would have won him new fans.

“That was a real tough debut. I know it will be great experience for me. He was a tough and he was there to fight and he did help make it a good fight,” he told Irish-boxing.com.

“I have to thank MTK for giving me the chance to be in a fight like that live on ESPN. It was a chance to show people who I am and I think everyone now knows who I am now after a fight like that.”

Some might argue that being in such an entertaining fight on your debut should detract from the hype, but Amador isn’t your typical debut foe.

The Spain based Nicaraguan was deemed good enough an opponent for Dylan Moran after eight fights, Stephen Ormond was in against him over 25 fights in and he fought Jack Catterall, Tyrone McKenna and Tyrone Nurse as recent as this year. The teak-tough, have-a-go, away-day regular was the fifth agreed opponent on a busy weekend where journeyman had their pick of fight venues – and was the only one his team had reservations about.

O’Leary is the first ever fighter to debut against a tough journeyman that knows his way around the ring. The Inner City Dub still won every round, but he didn’t have things all his own way – and afterwards that was something he rejoiced in.

“They don’t call me ‘Big Bang’ for nothing. I know I hit hard and in the amateurs I was landing them smacks with bigger gloves and lads were going down. That fella showed heart and pushed me right to the limit. I kinda knew he wasn’t going to go, he is known for being tough, so I stuck to Philip’s game plan, but he still took some shots.It wasn’t a walk in the park, but I enjoyed that.”

The Philip Keogh trained fighter was always a well supported amateur, but his pro following seemed to increase in both number and volume.

The reception he received on the night took everyone including him by surprise.

“It was special. I knew I was going to bring a big crowd, but still I think it was going to be like that. That was unbelievable that reception. It gave me a massive boost, the noise was unreal. I knew once I heard them I had to give them what the came to see and I hope I did. I am nearly speechless I never dreamed it would be like that.”

O’Leary will return as soon as next month when he appears alongside Paddy Donovan and potentially Luke Keeler – depending on whether the Ballyfermot man, who walked O’Leary into the ring, gets a December world title shot or not- in Glasgow on November 16.

He is happy with being kept busy and believes he will soon start working his way up the ranks.

“It’s only a matter of time before I am chasing titles. I just have to keep winning and I am sure MTK will get me the fights.”

“I’d also like to thank my sponsors Boca Cafe Spencer Dock, Vernonn Catering, CP Fitness Dublin and Natural Kitchen.”


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com