‘Let’s get straight to the point’ – Bullish Niall O’Connor warns Jake Hanney he is in ‘for a fright’

Niall O’Connor [6(4)-0] says Jake Hanney [6(5)-2(1)] [6(5)-2(1)]  is in for a rude awakening and is about to get the fright of his boxing life.

The 30-year-old will trade leather with his fellow Dub on ‘The Beginning’ card in Cork on April 2.

The fight eventually materialised after Hanney accused O’Connor of shying away from a match-up – accusations strongly denied by the Celtic Warrior fighter’s team – and ‘bottling it’.

The Paschal Collins-trained fighter says Hanney’s comments haven’t got under his skin or had a negative effect – but that doesn’t mean he won’t enjoy beating him.

“Let’s get straight to the point here, I want this fight with Jake Hanney. He’s been talking an awful lot so this is the fight I wanna get outa the way,” O’Connor told Irish-boxing.com before the clash was officially confirmed.

“Jake’s been doing a lot of talking online so it’ll be good to settle the score.”

O’Connor has also picked up on the Boxing Ireland fighter’s confidence and says it unwarranted, suggesting Hanney isn’t as big or bad as he thinks.

“I see myself beating Jake. I think Jake thinks he’s too big and too strong. You hear him say all the time. He’s in for a fright.”

There appears to be a nice bit of needle developing between the pair ahead of their meeting on the first pro show to come to the Republic of Ireland since 2019.

It adds to the intrigue around an already eagerly anticipated clash, although O’Connor was keen to put the talk into context.

“It’s just business really,” he adds refusing to take serious offence to Hanney’s comments.

“I see it as Jake trying to build the fight. It’s getting people interested, so it doesn’t really do anything to me.”

That extra interest is an added bonus for a fighter who has laid dormant for quite some time. The Ballybrack fighter was just starting to make noise and looked set for a domestic step up before suffering a period of inactivity.

O’Connor has fought just once since 2018 meaning this is a chance to make up for some lost time and if he wins the BUI Celtic title on offer he could open doors to more exciting domestic fights.

“It’s sort of a coming-out party,” he adds indicating he is excited with the chance to prove the gym stories are true and he is a talent of note.

“I just wanna make good memories, to be honest. Over the last two years with covid it was bad. I was in the gym every day just training, training, training for absolutely nothing. There were talks of fights, then fights fell through and motivation went down.”

O’Connor has a fight now, a title fight and a fight he hopes is the first of many at home.

“Hopefully there are more fights on the horizon, more shows in Ireland, more shows in Dublin. We want a show in Dublin again to sell a few tickets.”

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