Niall O’Connor [5(4)-0] seems more patient than Irish fight fans when it comes to his career.
O’Connor hasn’t been seen in a ring in over two years, last appearing in Mayo in 2018.
At that time there was genuine excitement brewing around the Ballybrack native.
Five quickfire wins and some beef with domestic rivals including Victor Rabei had people taking note.
Despite the fact he hasn’t been seen in the ring since, a degree of intrigue still surrounds the Dub within boxing circles. He is said to be improving and impressing in sparring in the Celtic Warrior Gym. As a result, there has been a real keenness to see him fight and a worry he may become a genuine forgotten man.
The boxer himself seems that bit more relaxed about the whole situation.
“It has been pretty frustrating but I’ve stayed in the gym keeping fit,” he told Irish-boxing.com.
“I never really worried about not getting the chance to fight again. I’ve just been in the gym listening a lot to what Packie and Barry have had to say to me about keeping patient.”
O’Connor has taken a two-year ring absence in his stride but he switches from ultra-laidback to excited when discussing his return.
The Paschal Collins-trained fighter returns in Belgium on Saturday and is more than happy to be ending his sabbatical.
“I’m delighted to finally get a fight after more than two years out. You can expect to see an excited fighter happy to get his chance again in the ring on Saturday. It’s not even about rounds it’s more about just getting an opportunity to fight at this stage.”
O’Connor hopes the oppurtunities keep on coming.
“The plan now is to be as active as possible and try and get three more fights in within the remainder of 2021.”
The four round clash isn’t just his first in two years it’s his first since teaming up with Collins.
“I expect to be in a good fight,” he adds.
“It is my first fight with Packie in my corner after two years of learning under him, so that’s a plus.”
O’Connor also thanked all his sponsors who enabled him to cover the costs of this fight and the trip to Belgium. S&D Fire Seal, Ryan Hannon Electrical, Primal X Fitness and SwiftSkip.