Niall O’Connor calls for step-up following knockdown-filled Ficner fight

The chime for the opening bell was still reverborating and Marcin Ficner’s backside had already touched the canvas.

The Polish journeyman was downed within seconds by Ballybrack lightweight Niall O’Connor on the ‘Celtic Clash 5’ undercard on Saturday night and would revisit the floor a further three times before the bout was eventually waved off a minute into the second round.

It was a destructive performance from the prospect who is gaining a reputation as a big puncher.

O’Connor [3(2)-0] had hoped to score a first-round knockout, but his desire to see him finish the fight with a clean punch saw him have to wait until the second and a ram-rod right which dropped Ficner for the fourth and final time.

“I did enjoy myself, but I would have enjoyed myself more if I got him out in the first round after all the talking!” said O’Connor afterwards.

Looking back at the fight, which he essentially had won within two seconds, O’Connor described how “it was a one-two, boom, and he just started wobbling. I thought ‘Love itttttt’, but I just had it in my head, ‘don’t look sloppy’.”

“Every time he threw a jab, his head was right up in the air. Tony and Barry kept telling me to wait for his jab, and every time he threw one I landed a right over the top.”

“It was just one-two-hook, one-two-hook, and you could see that he was wincing. I knew whenever I landed on him, he didn’t want to know.”

The 22-year-old desperately wants progression now and outlined how “that’s it, we’ll go up to six-rounders now, I want a six-round fight.”

“That’s the end of the four-rounders, I’m not learning anything from them. I want to go six rounds, eight rounds, ten rounds.”

“I did a great camp, great sparring, great strength and conditioning. I feel great, I honestly do feel great. I’m sharp and I’m seeing things.”

Manager and trainer Tony Davitt then interjected – only half-jokingly – stating that “if anyone’s looking for a fight on the Frampton bill, if it’s the right match, we’ll take it!”

“I’d like one yeah!” added O’Connor.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: