Self-proclaimed underdog Owen O’Neill says he is ready to show his teeth this weekend.
‘The Operator’ takes on Declan Geraghty in an eagerly anticipated Irish welterweight title fight at the Girdwood Community Hub.
The Dee Walsh-trained fighter goes into the fight happy to hype his opponent as the favourite, pointing to their very different boxing pasts as reason the Dub should have the shorter odds before the first bell.
“I think I’m the underdog,” O’Neill tells Irish-boxing.com.
“Deco has boxed some serious operators and has 12 national titles to his name. I only had 18 amateur fights, so I think I’m the underdog.”
It’s a position O’Neill has probably found himself in before, indeed the Irish Boxing Awards Knockout of the Year winner’s whole career is a bit of an underdog story.
However, it’s a position he enjoys.
“I don’t mind. I love it.”
The challenge that awaits isn’t all that is big about the fight. Belfast’s ‘Triple O’ is aware the chance to become Irish champion is huge and has been putting in a big push to ensure he takes it.
“It’s my biggest fight to date, and just with everything else that’s gone on on the build-up with my Nanny it’s massive for me. I’m treating it like an all-or-nothing fight. Getting the win could seriously push me on. I’m proper excited for this fight.”
Their eagerly anticipated clash isn’t a bad-blood one. There is mutual respect between the Mark Dunlop-managed duo and not just in terms of what they are capable of in the ring. O’Neill was particularly taken aback by how Geraghty sent his condolences upon hearing about his Grandmother’s passing.
“Obviously I respect him as a boxer but I want to give Deco respect as a person too,” he declares.” Putting boxing aside he messaged giving his condolences to me and my family about my Nanny.”
Photo Credit Mark Meade