‘No way to the Irish title but through me’- Craig O’Brien has words for emerging domestic rivals

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Craig O’Brien [11(1)-2(1)] sent out a reminder to all the emerging light middleweights that he is the reigning Irish champion and literally won’t be giving up his title without a fight.

‘The Iron’ has seen a host of similar level 154lbs fighters discuss domestic dust ups, issue call outs and talk of possible Irish title match ups – and while the Dub has nothing against their ambition he does feel somewhat overlooked.

The Celtic Warrior Gym fighter points out that he holds the strap and is willing to defend it against all comers.

The Pascal Collins trained fighter doesn’t want to name drop due to the fact he is allergic to the call out. However, it’s clear he is discussing the likes of Dominic Donegan, Graham McCormack, Eddie Treacy and Owen Duffy, all light middles that have been linked to each other of late.

“You know me, I am not going to be calling anyone out, that’s not my style, but look I am the Irish champion. I hold the title and I would love to defend it. People can talk about fighting for it, but I don’t want to vacate. If you want to fight for the Irish title get in touch because I am open to offers to defend it,” O’Brien told Irish-boxing.com.

“The problem is will some of these lads be sanctioned? I don’t know? Hopefully the will and we can have some good fights.”

One person who has Irish title previous and is looking to go again is Jay Byrne.

O’Brien defeated ‘The Negotiator’ in March of 2018 and the defeated fighter has been keen on a return ever since.

Byrne also fought O’Brien on the Last Man Standing card

Indeed, BBBofC Celtic champion Byrne called for the bout over the weekend. O’Brien, whose last fight was a defeat to Kieran Conway live on Sky, is open to the return and suggests Ring Kings two may prove the ideal host.

“Jay is a good lad and a good fighter. He always brings it and has some good wins abroad since we fought. I think that would be a good fight and one the fans wouldn’t mind seeing again. It could be a good fight for that Waterford card.”


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com