“They’ll remember that one” – Entertainer Niall O’Connor proud to please crowd

Niall O’Connor [2(1)-0] got the scrap he had hoped for at the weekend.

The Ballybrack lightweight was left somehat frustrated following his debut when a late change of opponent saw his guaranteed war with Alec Bazza turn into a game of chasing with Pal Olah.

On Saturday at the National Stadium, prominently on the ‘Celtic Clash 4’ card, O’Connor had an opponent who came to fight, and the Dubliner showed what he can do, scoring a third round stoppage.

O’Connor picked Spaniard Manuel Prieto apart, beating his face into a bloody pulp, scoring a knockdown in the third, and claiming his first stoppage win.

Analysing his performance, O’Connor noted how “I started off a bit slow, I didn’t feel sharp – but, when I got back to the corner, the lads just told me to do what we’ve been working on in the gym.”

“I was nice and relaxed, waiting for him to tire out, making him miss, taking his heart away, and then load up with right hands.”

“I knew, if I put it on him, I could finish him.”

While Prieto wanted ‘no mas’ in the third, the Spaniard certainly didn’t start the fight that way, attacking from the off.

O’Connor described how “he came to fight. That’s what I like. Someone who is not negative, not like those journeymen who are just there to get wages and fight.”

“He came to fight, all props to him.”

But [after the knockdown] he didn’t want to know anymore. He only got up at ‘seven’ or ‘eight’ Every time I was hitting him he was wincing.

It was one of the stand-out performances of the night, and O’Connor was happy to entertain his supporters – who he made sure to pay tribute to.

The Tony Davitt fighter reasoned that “people always want to see good fights, and they’ll remember that one. It wasn’t boring.”

“My friends and family, huge props to them. Without them, I wouldn’t be boxing. It’s a hard aul game boxing, you need people buying tickets.”

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


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