The then 23-year-old had signed terms with Boxing Ireland Promotions and it prompted talk of a potenital Cork fight night down the line.
However, 11 months on and the Leesider has yet to debut and with things going quiet on the O’Connell front.
The Mayfield BC graduate explains he had mental health issues, but is adamant he won’t let them get the better of him in 2019 and is now set for a March debut.
“The delay [in debuting] was over mental health issues, but I’m not leaving it take over my life. I want to fulfill my dream,” O’Connell explained when speaking to Irish-Boxing.com.
“I’m very excited, I’ve always wanted to go pro now and am looking forward to getting going,” added the cousin of fellow new pro Thomas McCarthy.
If the Cork lightweight, who will be trained by Paul Duncliffe and should debut on the soon-to-be-announced ‘Celtic Clash 8’ bill, is to believed then Irish boxing fans should be excited too. The Munster Intermediate champion claims he has that desire to entertain to such an extent that he will sell out venues on his own.
“People that know me from coming to my fights will tell you I’m a brawler. I entertain people,” said O’Connell.
“I have a lot of power and speed. I can sell out places with my style. I was always a main event fighter in amateur tournaments and everyone would wait there to watch my fight,” he adds before discussing his fight ambitions.
“I want to win titles. I’m not here for just the money I want to go to the top.”
A date and venue for Celtic Clash 8 will be revealed in the coming days with O’Connell, McCarthy, and fellow debutants Kevin Cronin, Paddy Clavin, Declan Kenna, Owen McDonagh, Jamie Douglas, and Dominic Donegan.