NO MESSING – Cheyanne O’Neill to fight African Games medallist in pro debut

Cheyanne O’Neill faces a decorated African amateur when she debuts next month.

The Midlands pocket rocket looks set for one of the most interesting Irish pro debuts in recent times as she has agreed to fight Portugal based Nancy Moreira.

Moreira, who once fought Kellie Harrington in the Celtic Box Cup, won bronze at the last African Games and is certainly not your average debut fight.

The Cape Verdean fighter, who is now based in Portugal, also has one pro win under her belt and has the potential to make it an April Fool’s Day to forget for O’Neill graduate.

The Athlone BC graduate will punch for pay for the first time on April 1st at the Crown Plaza in Glasgow.

O’Neill revealed she had turned over and had teamed up with RF Sports Management and Kynoch Boxing Promotions early this month.

Small and explosive, the 25-year-old was always an amateur favourite and one of those ‘suited to the pros’ fighters.

She entertained her way to two senior finals, represented the Irish Army with distinction, enjoyed underage success including EU Youth Silver.

While the move is exciting for welter O’Neill, Waterford based manager Robbie Flynn, and Scottish promoter Sam Kynoch, it’s a massively interesting one for Irish boxing.

It represents another in a growing bevvy of talents, without an Olympic push, but with extensive amateur experience, transitioning into the pro ranks. Outside of Katie Taylor most of our female pros have been late starters or kickboxing converts.

Commonwealth Games medal winner Kristina McCafferty O’Hara and Katelynn Phelan changed the trend when they turned over recently and now the decorated ‘Chaz’ follows suit.

Like O’Hara who had a tough debut and Phelan who jumped early into a big fight with Jessica Schadko, O’Neill is having a contest of note versus Moreira.

The islander, 33, made her debut in December, knocking out Monica Stancheva inside a round.

Speaking to about turning over recently O’Neill said : “Excited wouldn’t be the word for when I think about my new chapter in boxing.

“It’s been a long time since I felt this kind of buzz for the sport. Bring it on,” she adds before suggesting she has her youth career mojo back and predicting excitement.

“I can tell you and pro fans that they can expect a little bit of the talented youth fighter I’ve been in the past and a lot more from a whole new fighter. I think they’ll see exciting fights and just like the amateurs I will never shy away from a good fight.”

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: