More mental mayhem – Owen O’Neill predicts loud Celtic Clash support

Owen O’Neill [2-0] is promising another ‘mental’ atmosphere as he returns to the Devenish to fight tonight.

The North Belfast light middleweight has entertained twice within the ring since turning over as recentluu as May, but there is also significant hype surrounding the support he brings.

His fanbase is as big as it is loud and have really have played their part in making his fights something to look forward too.

In most cases fan interest drops between the initial early excitement and the first big fight, but ‘The Operator’ assures that won’t be the case in terms of his loyal following.

In fact he hints things might just get more roudy when trades leather for a third time on Celtic Clash 9 this Saturday.

“The crowds going to be mental once again. I’ve Cliftonville Boys, mad mates and my family coming. It’s going to be loud again believe me,” he smiles in the direction of Irish-Boxing.com.

While the crowd will catch the eye, the Belfast fighter is hoping his performance will be a little more boring that his last two displays.

O’Neill wasn’t afraid to get involved and it allowed for entertaining scraps. The Gerard McManus and Daniel Anderson-trained fighter is planning to make sure this clash is a little more one sided and doesn’t involve him getting hit as much.

“I’ve worked on a lot with Gerard and Dan in the gym, so I’m hoping to go out and control the fight from the first bell I’ve worked on mostly moving my big head! I haven’t been a defensive fighter ever so I’m trying to bring it into my game that’s what I’ve been working on.”

Derry-born Englishman Paul Cummings [2-40(7)] provides the opposition for the Boxing Ireland fighter’s third outing. O’Neill will be expected to beat the journeyman, but notes the size difference between the pair will be challenging.

“I’m expecting a big tall fella with a lot of range on me,” he adds. “I think he’s 6ft 2, well that’s what I’ve been told. I’ve also been told it will be another tough scrap. It won’t be easy, I’m not looking to stop him I’m looking to get the win that’s it. If the stoppage comes, oh aye I’d be loving it, but we will see what happens.”

O’Neill is part of the Gleann Team and claims an improved atmosphere in a growing camp following Steven Donnelly’s Ultimate Boxxer win has been helpful as he prepares to increase his winning record.

“It gave the whole team a boost. We needed it I think after Paddy Gal’s robbery [versus Chris Jenkins]. We needed it to lift the spirits. It’s also great for me that I sparred Donnelly for his whole camp for that tournament, tough but I’m sure I learnt from it.”

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