Owen O’Neill [4-0] doesn’t understand what all the drama is about.
‘The Operator’s’ name was dropped by newly turned over pro Tiernan Bradley in a recent Boxing Bantz interview and caused quite a stir online yesterday.
The St Michael’s Inchicore fighter stated he’d like to get revenge over O’Neill for knocking out his clubmate in the amateurs.
Fight fans wait to see how the Boxing Ireland fighter would react to the ‘call out’ and may be surprised by the ticket selling fighters response.
O’Neill seemed upset when he sourced the interview and saw what the Dublin based Tyrone welter had to say.
The Dee Walsh and Daniel Anderson mentored light middle, with welterweight aspirations, seems to suggest Bradley is either poor at call outs or didn’t really suggest a fight between the pair.
Speaking to Irish-boxing.com, he explained : “I was told he called me out and couldn’t wait to watch the interview to see what was said, but when I finally got to watch it he didn’t even call me out.
“Ciaran from Boxing Bants was the one that said he thinks I would fight him for the Irish title when the time is right. I don’t know where people are getting the ‘call out’ from.
“To me someone calling you out is saying I wanna’ fight such and such next but he said he didn’t think anyone at welterweight would fight him and that’s why Ciaran mentioned my name.”
It’s not O’Neill’s way of shying away from confrontation or from avoiding questions as to whether he would fight Bradley next.
The 24-year-old has always been open about the fact he is learning on the job and has made no secret of his desire to bank experience before having to upgrade to domestic level.
Quite admirably, he admits the Bradley fight is not for him just yet. O’Neill wants two more six rounders before he even surveys the domestic title landscape.
“I’m a realist and it wouldn’t be a fight I’d take next. 100% in the next 2 or 3 or whatever. But I defo’ want another two 6 rounders under my belt before getting in for titles.
“That’s when I’ll know I’m ready. But 100% a fight in the future for both of us. Get ourselves good doe as well.”
“When these fights come I want to go in and win. I don’t want to be a stepping stone for boxers. I want the success too, and when I know myself I’m ready that’s when I’ll take them fights.”
In keeping with the honesty theme he claims the yet to debut pro has such a profile that he already brings value to the table and suggests he would be an underdog going into any fight between the pair.
“I would say Bradley does [bring enough to the table] he’s a great boxer with huge success and everyone knows it. I would be a huge underdog which suits me,” he continues before reiterating he doesn’t feel ‘called out’.
“I still don’t think I was called out!. It was someone asking would he like to fight me. I’ve got asked that question many of times about other fighters. I haven’t used it as me calling people out.”
Like all boxers and people from all walks of life the current pandemic is tough for O’Neill, although possibly more so for a fighter that lives with his elderly grandparents.
“The situation is tough with living with my Nanny and Granda. My Granda who has dementia days, which are tough, but it could be worse. I’m grateful that my family are healthy and no major illnesses at the mintue,” he explains before revealing any behind closed doors scenario hampers him as a massive ticket seller.
“Yeah, that’s not good for me. I want to fight. Tho I need to make some money too. God knows when the next fight will be hopefully get one in before Christmas I’ll be happy. I haven’t herd of any dates to be honest. I don’t think anyone really knows at the mintue. I’m training away I know I’ll be ready to rock whenever the next one is.”