Light Middleweights put on alert as Owen O’Neill vacates BUI Celtic title

Owen O’Neill [11(1)-0] has vacated the BUI light middleweight title.

The Belfast fighter claimed the strap by emerging victorious in the Irish Boxing Awards Fight of the Year thanks to the Irish Boxing Awards Knockout of the Year.

The title win put a huge target on the popular Belfast fighter’s back with the likes of Paul Ryan and Edward Donovan calling him out and other fighters name-dropping him as a potential opponent.

The Dee Walsh trained fighter, who has always been open about a desire, even need to move down in weight, took a tick-over fight against Josh Cooke in February giving him time to weigh up his domestic options.

The Operator suffered injury by way of a burst eardrum in that six-round points win ruling him out until later in the year, and upon hearing he won’t be able to make a defence in the immediate future the BUI ask him to vacate.

It’s a move O’Neill would most likely have made anyway, as his manager Mark Dunlop confirmed a move to welterweight is on the card when speaking to

The news will prick the ears of the light middleweights across the county. The younger of the boxing Donovan brothers, Edward, was particularly vocal about wanting to fight for the strap and has said he’d fight anyone around the weight to attain it. A clash with fellow European underage medal winner, Paul Ryan would be well received, although the Limerick man has previously looked to fight Ryan’s stablemate Senan Kelly.


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years