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Boxing fan Niall O’Connor living the dream ahead of pro debut

Niall O’Connor is living the dream ahead of his professional debut this weekend.

A boxing fanatic, the Ballybrack welter makes his paid bow on the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card at the National Stadium on Saturday.

The 25 year old will be fulfilling a lifetime ambition when he steps into the ring on the South Circular Road, and he explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “I grew up watching professional boxing. It’s always been a dream of mine to box pro

“I used to travel all over the country watching boxing. I’ve been over to England, over to America to watch lads fight.”

“I’m a big boxing fan. I just like fighting.”

The Tony Davitt-backed boxer has been in camp throughout the Summer, sparring with fighters he would have watched as a fan.

“It’s been class,” admits O’Connor.

“I’ve been training in Celtic Warriors Gym and Coliseum Gym. Training with the likes of Stephen Ormond, Spike O’Sullivan, Ray Moylette, it’s class.”

“I did some rounds with Stephen and Ray, both nice fellas, it’s crazy!”

One of eight debutants on the bill, the former Monkstown amateur is familiar with the National Stadium, and is hoping to put on a performance that pulls in the punters for more.

Initially due to debut against Belfast warrior Alec Bazza, O’Connor was today confirmed to have had a change of opponent to Hungarian Pal Olah [7(5)-10(4)-1].

O’Connor described how “I’ve an alright record in there, six wins, two losses.”

“It’s a nice ring and there’s been some good history in there.”

“It’s a good place to start, people can always come watch you in the Stadium.”

“If I’m involved in a good scrap, come my next fight people will pay to see me again.”

Headlined by the Eric Donovan v Dai Davies BUI Celtic featherweight title fight, the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card also features Regan Buckley v Carl McDonald, Gerard Whitehouse, James Cahill, Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O’Donovan, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Keane McMahon, Niall O’Connor, John Joyce and Bernard Roe.

Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from the Healthy Living Centre in Athy, by calling Laura on 086 7949 406, or online at Ticketmaster.ie.

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frayne carpentry

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