‘I know what I can do and how good I am’ – Craig O’Brien ready to blur Conway’s 2020 vision

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Craig O’Brien [11(1)-1(1)] is aware Matchroom want to use him as a stepping stone to bigger fights for Kieron Conway [13(3)-1(0)-1] on Thursday, but isn’t bothered.

‘The Iron’ points out he is on the same level as the Northampton fighter and warns talent and not promotional good will win you fights.

The recent British title challenger – Conway drew with Ted Cheeseman in a Lonsdale belt fight this Summer – has been discussing a big 2020 in the lead up to Thursday night’s Sky Sports broadcast NXTGEN fight.

It’s assumed Matchroom are trying to get him a solid win before making him a fixture in a light middleweight British scene that includes Scott Fitzgerald, Cheeseman and former O’Brien foe Fowler.

The 30-year-old Inner City Dub knows the thought process of Team Conway, but points out things are not that simple.

O’Brien goes into the fight prepared and confident.

“There is no doubt they’re bringing me over to test him and see what he is about, but that don’t bother me. I know what I can do and how good I am,” O’Brien told Irish-boxing.com just before he departed for England.

“I’m 100% on this kids level and I’ll prove that on Thursday night.”

“I’m very confident and in a great place with me weight, training, sparring, diet, physio and mind. That’s thanks to everyone who has helped me and played a part in this camp it has being brilliant. I feel on top of the world, now I got to bring it in the ring tomorrow night and put on show.”

It’s a massive chance for O’Brien to move to the next level. Victory at York Hall would make him a viable opponent for all the names Conway has been mentioning. However, the Pascal Collins trained fighter has Murphy’s Boxing links and he remains unsure as to what path he will take if he does win.

“I’m not sure what the win does for me. At this moment the key is just winning Thursday night. If I do that then more big fight will come,” he explains before revealing how the fight would come about.

“Pascal just message me and asked would fight Conway, I just laughed because I honestly thought it was a fight that could happen soon. It was no surprise to me.

“It was a fight, a 10 rounder on TV that puts me back in the mix. There was no way I was saying no.”

O’Brien does have a strong following, a following he has recently revealed have enjoyed following him when he fights outside of Dublin.

However, he doesn’t expect a massive crowd come Thursday- which is understandable considering the fight was confirmed late on and is so close to Christmas – but does expect a very vocal few.

“There are not as many going over as usual. Matchroom didn’t announce the fight to last minute but I have a few going over and lots of family over there going. I had a load of the boys from the flats looking to swim the channel to get over but I had to stop them! I am sure loads will tune in to Sky Sports on the night,” he adds before his obligatory sponsor thanking.

“I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone for message and support. I also have to thank my sponsor who help make fighting possible for me.

“Carrickeast construction Ltd . Dublin Plumbling and Gas, Action Glass Window Ltd, MG Performance Nutrition, Neuromuscular Pain and Injury Clinic and Bowbell Security.”


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