Jack O’Neill makes history at Ulster Hall

The youngest club on Saturday night had a win for the youngest boxer at the Ulster Elite Senior Championships finals.

18-year-old Jack O’Neill, who is still in school, took home the light flyweight crown at the Ulster Hall in Belfast, securing a first Provincial Elite title for the newly-founded Corpus Christi ABC.

The rangy O’Neill defeated Rory Baird in a quite thrilling contest to secure the trophy for the club on the Whiterock Road in West Belfast.

The talented teen was happy to make a little bit of history and said afterwards that “it’s unbelievable, I only joined the club there a few months ago, it’s a great achievement for such a new club.”

Only just moved into the Senior ranks, O’Neill was drinking the whole occasion in following a fight that got the crowd on their feet with a sensational final round.

“it’s unbelievable,” he said. “I was watching the fights last time. The Ulster Hall is a great venue so it is.”

“It was a close enough fight so it was, I thought I did enough. In that last round I thought I wanted it that bit more, that’s how it goes.”

Still so young, O’Neill plans to keep building but is a bit frustrated with the light flyweight class being cut from the Olympic roster.

The new champion though doesn’t have time to focus on this, however, with another big final coming up on Saturday when he takes on former pro Regan Buckley for the Irish U22 title.

“I want to go to the Olympics but light flyweight has been kicked out, I make the weight easy enough,” he noted before outlining his immediate plans.

“I’m down in Dublin next Friday for the final of the Under-22s then there’s the Seniors next month so it’s straight back to training.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie