Memory-maker Niall O’Connor wants domestic wars soon

Niall O’Connor [2(1)-0] is a boxing fan first and foremost rather than a fighter.

The Ballybrack lightweight just loves the sport, watching it, talking about it, and over the past year competing in it professionally. Currently, O’Connor is preparing for his third fight and will go for his third win on the big ‘Celtic Clash 5’ card at Good Counsel GAA club in Drimnagh on Saturday March 24th.

As an Irish boxing fan with a keen eye for the domestic scene, O’Connor is excited by the show’s headliner and aspires to be in similar fights soon.

The Dublin small hall bill is headlined by a rematch between Sallynoggin slugger Stephen McAfee and Youghal’s Colin O’Donovan. Following an epic six-round draw in December, on the ‘Celtic Clash 4’ card which also featured O’Connor, the pair will meet again over eight rounds for the BUI Celtic super featherweight title.

It’s a fight that whets O’Connor’s appetite as well as showing him what’s possible early in one’s career.

McAfee and O’Donovan had a combined total of four fights when they went to war last year and O’Connor told how “that’s what it’s all about!”

“You get these people going around thinking they’re at world level and not fighting each other. Boxing is about memories being made and these are the sorts of shows and the sorts of fights that people are going to remember.”

“In ten years time, people will be saying ‘remember when he fought him? That fight was a cracker’. O’Donovan and McAfee, that’s always going to get remembered.”

This domestic dust-up won’t come for O’Connor on this month’s show – however, the D18 fighter may be sharing the card with a potential future opponent.

Crumlin lightweight Martin Quinn [2(1)-0] also features on the bill and it’s been a match-up suggested by many – including this site.

With the pair’s managers sharing a strong working relationship, and Quinn himself eager for domestic duels, it would look to be a very easy-to-make clash.

When put to him, 22-year-old O’Connor admits it is a fight he would personally like, but he isn’t going to call for it.

The Tony Davitt managed and trained entertainer stated that “I’ll let the matchmakers do all the talking. I’m just here to fight, I’m not afraid to fight, and I’ll fight anyone.”

Quinn and O’Connor are joined on the ‘Celtic Clash 5’ undercard by Jobstown super bantamweight Carl McDonald, Smithfield welterweight Keane McMahon, Lucan welterweight John Joyce, Blanchardstown cruiserweight debutant Chris Scuvie, and Crumlin-based Cavan light middleweight debutant Owen Duffy.

Tickets for the fight night are priced at €55 (ringside) and €35 (unreserved) and are available from the boxers involved. Niall O’Connor can be contacted at 085 232 8914.

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography


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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: