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‘I know I should have got him outta there’ – mixed emotions for Owen O’Neill after away day win

Owen O’Neill [5-0] can see the many positives surrounding his fifth career win but one precieved negative continues to eat away at him.

‘The Operator’ enjoyed what he believes was a massive experience but believes it was an experience that lasted too long.

The 25-year-old, who is both learning and evolving on the job, believes he should have got Marcin Ficner [2-29(13)-4] out of there to register a first career stoppage.

“I’m very hard on myself, people tell me off for it but can’t help it,” O’Neill told Irish-boxing.com after his win on the Back to Business 3 card in Luxembourg.

“I was actually disheartened after the fight because I didn’t get the fella outta there. I know I’m ten times better than the performance I put in even though it was my best to date. That might sound strange but I know I’ve plenty more in my locker, which is a good thing. It was great to get another four rounds in but I know I should have got him outta there. I was so close to getting the stoppage too.”

‘OOO’ is being somewhat harsh on himself but when he takes a step back and looks at the experience as a whole he can see the positives.

The Boxing Ireland fighter managed to gain experience of fighting on the road, won without head coach Dee Walsh in the corner, and fought for the first time without his partisan, passionate and loud fan base in support.

“I loved it the entire experience. It was a learning curve too and a few lessons were learnt about travelling and stuff like that.

“I would have loved Dee to be there, as the performance I put in was the best to date. Dee and Dan [Anderson] have a great relationship so they talked beforehand and knew what I had to do before going in. If that was a year ago I wouldn’t have been confident not having Dee there but I know how much we have drilled and worked on over the past while, so I was confident going into the fight,” he adds before discussing the lack of his Cliftonville mad following.

“It was weird but can’t say it affected as I put it my best performance to date. Although I do say ‘get the crowds back’. There is nothing like a few Cliftonville songs sung by all the lads while I’m fighting.”

O’Neill has been working his way down the weights and is looking to drop further next time around whilst going up in rounds scale at the same time.

He also revealed he will go straight back into training claiming he doesn’t deserve a break after the weekend’s result.

“I felt amazing {in the fight] but there is still some hard work to do. I’m not taking a break. I don’t deserve one. I got the win over a journeyman I should have knocked out. I’m back training today(Tuesday) working on things. The next fight I’ll be lower again weighing in. Hopefully, I’ll get out again in June step it up to six rounds, we’ll see how that’s goes, that’s all I’m hoping for at the minute.”

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 sports for a living for over 20 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