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‘Not called Canelo for nothing’ – Owen Duffy expects tough title battle

 Owen Duffy  [6(3)-2(1)] suggests Owen O’Neill [9-0] isn’t called the ‘Cliftonville Canelo’ just because he has red hair.

The Cavan fighter hints the comparisons to Saul Alvarez have roots in the Belfast fighter’s style and talent, meaning he hasn’t an easy route to the BUI Celtic title this weekend.

Duffy fights his MHD promotional stablemate in one of two TG4 broadcast BUI Celtic title fights this Saturday night, and while he is confident of victory knows he will have to work for it.

Taking a similar prefight approach to O’Neill, ‘The Butcher’ has billed his foe as a title-worthy opponent.

“Owen is an unbeaten prospect, fighting close to home, he will be a tough exciting opponent,” Duffy says of the Belfast man. “They don’t call him ‘Baby Canelo’ for no reason.”

Saturday represents more than just a potentially exciting challenge for Shercock favourite, it’s also a huge opportunity for Duffy to register another big win on terrestrial TV, win a domestic title, and take a big step toward his Irish title goal.

It will also prove the ultimate reward for his hard work and dedication, particularly through troubled times for boxing.

“I am very excited,” he adds. “It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to get my chance at the Irish belt. COVID slowed down achieving that goal but did allow me the chance to focus my training and improve my game. There is only one obstacle in the way now,” he continues before explaining what a win would mean to him.

“It will be amazing. It will allow me to tick off a goal on my list and it would be a stepping stone to the next goal. It will prove that with the right mindset, the appropriate systems, and consistency that anything is possible.”

Duffy goes into the fight on the back of a massive moral-boosting win. Last time out the Frick McMahon trained fighter got up off the floor to stop Dominic Donegan and win the battle of Cavan in dramatic fashion.

It’s the type of win O’Neill has yet to put on his resume but it’s a win and performance that has no real bearing on Saturday’s showcase according to the Cavan man.

“Of course, that win was always going to be a nice confidence boost but that boost is only temporary. You have to show up to the office every day. Regarding if it stands to me or not it is not relevant as it will not affect my intentions set for Saturday night. The last win is in the past, it is not relevant now it was a stepping stone to this goal. Every fight is a learning experience.”

Despite building up O’Neill’s credentials and playing down the relevance of his TG4 stoppage win, Duffy is adamant his name follow ‘and the new’ come Saturday.

When asked for a prediction he said: “Owen Duffy – The new Irish Super-Welterweight BUI Celtic champion.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years