No ring rust for ‘The Iron’ Craig O’Brien who makes long-awaited return on Saturday

After seventeen long months out, Craig O’Brien [3(0)-0] will return to the ring this Saturday.

The Dublin light middle boxes on the Red Corner Promotions ‘Unfinished Business’ card at the National Stadium in a prominent undercard fight, and a lot has changed since his last bout.

Since he defeated Danny Brown in September 2015, Leicester City have won the Premier League, Britain voted to leave the EU, and Donald Trump became the President of the USA. What made slightly fewer headlines was O’Brien’s link-up with Paschal Collins at the Celtic Warriors Gym.

The inner-city Dub has been ticking over at the Corduff gym for the past year, and Saturday’s scrap will be his first as part of the Celtic Warriors team.

While there may be a few tweaks, O’Brien believes he will be more-or-less the same slick boxer as always. He explained to that “I don’t know if I will be a different fighter, but for sure we are working on different things for this fight, so you should see glimpse off it on Saturday.”

It’s been a long time since his last bout, but ‘The Iron’ believes that he wont be rusty after the lay-off, and described how “I’ve felt fresh this week, so I’m hoping there is no ring rust. I’ve done good bits of sparring so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

It will be no easy comeback fight for O’Brien, who jumps straight into his first six rounder against ‘The Shark’ Jorge Vallejo [2(1)-2(0)]. The Spaniard is coming off the back of the knockout win at the weekend and should provide a test to the 27 year old who described how “the opponent looks fit and hard, he had a good win the weekend. Itt’s good for me and the fans that the opponent is coming to fight, and win, so it should be an interesting fight.”

“I see him coming to fight, because I think that’s all he can do. I’ll have my own game plan so it will be up to me how the fight goes, but it will for sure be a hard fight. I’m expecting a hard one anyway I’m planning on working on new things.”

O’Brien is proudly sponsored by Dublin Plumbing and Gas, and he took the time to salute his large fanbase, saying that “I would like to thank everyone that has bought tickets because it is not cheap.”

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

Also featuring on the Luke Keeler v Lewis Taylor-topped card will be Eric Donovan, Chris Blaney, Lynn Harvey, Stevie Collins, Allan Phelan, Connor Coyle, Noely Murphy, Jay Byrne, and debutant Thomas Finnegan.

Tickets cost €40 (unreserved) and €60 (ringside) and can be bought from Craig at 0851078220.

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: