Josh Kelly sparring has Pierce O’Leary sharp ahead of Magno test

Pierce O’Leary [5(2)-0] says that sparring with Josh Kelly has made him sharper than ever ahead of his fight against Irvin Magno [5(1)-3-1].

Unbeaten O’Leary faces Magno at the University of Bolton Stadium on February 19, live in the US on ESPN+.

Kelly has a fight of his own just 24 hours later, as he goes up against David Avanesyan, and O’Leary has lifted the lid on just how beneficial the sparring sessions have been.

“Training has gone great. I’ve been in camp for a long time now, and I stayed positive and tried not letting any negative situations get in my way,” said the Dublin welterweigt prospect.

“For the last few weeks I’ve been sparring Josh Kelly, and what better preparation could I have got than that. I’ve sparred a lot in this camp and I’m sharper then ever.”

‘Big Bang’ twice seen the fight postponed and as a result is delighted things have been rescheduled so early in the year, particularly as it ensures sacrificing Christmas didn’t go to waste.

“I am really pleased that the fight has been re- arranged so quick on two occasions. We have been training really hard and I have made so many tough sacrifices through camp and was very disciplined throughout Christmas.

“It’s brilliant that all of that hard work will not be going to waste, and it means I get to show everybody all of my improvements.”

Elsewhere on February 19’s MTK Fight Night, Sean McComb and Gavin Gwynne fight for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title, Darren Tetley and Samuel Antwi clash for the vacant English welterweight title, and DP Carr defends his Southern Area super-featherweight title against Dean Dodge.

There is a packed undercard too, as Mark McKeown meets Brad Daws in a battle of undefeated fighters, Irish sensation Paddy Donovan returns, Elliot Whale takes on Jamie Stewart, and Mohammed Sameer is in action.

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