Stronger Niall O’Connor ready for Celtic Clash 6 step-up


Niall O’Connor [3(2)-0] is adamant.

He is finished with knockovers.

The Ballybrack lightweight stopped Marcin Ficner in the second round back in March to register his third win – dropping the Pole with his very first punch – and will now make an early step-up to six rounds.

O’Connor features on the ‘Celtic Clash 6’ bill at the Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh on June 16th in what will be his first fight over the longer distance.

No opponent has been confirmed for the fight next month but O’Connor is reliably informed that he can expect the biggest test of his young career.

Following a points win over the durable but unambitious Pal Olah, O’Connor followed this up with stoppages over Manuel Prieto and Ficner.

“I’m not really learning anything from those sort of fights,” O’Connor told Irish-Boxing.com.

“Tony [Davitt, manager and coach] looks after all that and I can’t say much but I’m hopeful that we will have a strong opponent next. We have a guy in mind with a good record, on an unbeaten streak, and who has caused a couple of upsets before.”

“The better the opponent, the better I will be. A better opponent will give me more opportunities but, even just bringing it out of me. You can even see it in sparring, I raise my game when I’m in with better guys.”

His technical side is highly-rated by Davitt but the physical aspects are coming on in leaps and bounds too for O’Connor ahead of a relatively early step up.

An increasingly physical specimen, O’Connor explained how “I only really started doing strength training after my debut and the difference has been phenomenal.”

“I’m doing three or four sessions a week in Primal X Fitness in Sallynoggin, Adam Hennessy and the boys are great.”

“It’s not that I’m punching harder or feeling stronger, more so my conditioning is through the roof, I’m as strong in the fifth round as I am in the first and people are noticing it in sparring.”

While June 16th promises to be a step-up, a step is all that O’Connor intends it to be.

The Dubliner is targeting all-Irish domestic dust-ups on the emerging Dublin scene and is keeping a keen eye on all the action from 130lbs to 140lbs.

That said, O’Connor is not one to trash-talk and noted how “I was always taught, if you’ve nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.”

“There’s loads of guys around my weight and I wish them all the best but, right now, I’m just focused on myself, I amn’t worrying about them.”

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 irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie