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O’Connor believes heavy handed Rio Olympian is ‘very beatable’ – ready to take breakthrough chance

Niall O’Connor [5(4)-0] doesn’t see what the issue is.

People have been questioning his decision to take on Venezuelan lightweight Luis Arcon [7(7)-0] on the Murphys Boxing show at the Encore Casino in Boston Harbour on July 12. 

‘El Llanero de Oro’ was a top amateur. He won South American Games silver, PanAmerican Games bronze, PanAmerican Championships bronze, and Central American and Caribbean Games bronze as well as fighting at the Rio 2016 Olympics and in the World Series of Boxing.

His pro career so far hasn’t been too bad either. The 27-year-old has won all seven of his fights since debuting in Mexico in March of last year – and all seven have come inside the distance.

As a result some fight fans are querying as to why the Ballybrack man would to take on such an opponent in just his his sixth bout. However, the Dubliner asks why not?

O’Connor see’s it as a massive opportunity against a ‘very beatable’ opponent.

The Celtic Warrior Gym fighter sees this month’s clash as a massive early breakthrough opportunity. Not only does he believe he can scalp Arcon, he is confident doing so Stateside live on UFC Fight Pass could see him take a massive stride forward.

“I see it as a great opportunity,” O’Connor told Irish-boxing.com.

“I learn from being in my first 50/50, I get great exposure fighting in a big venue and live on UFC Fight Pass.”

“If an opportunity like that comes to you as a fighter you have to take it.  Its a test and I feel I will progress as a fighter from being in a competitive fight, a fight I believe I can win.”

“I have always wanted bigger fights and this is a lot bigger then an opponent that comes to lose, it will bring out the best in me,” he adds before stressing a belief the step up foe is there for the taking.

“I know he was an international level amateur. He fought in the WSB as well. He is 6-6 in the WSB, so he’s very beatable.”

O’Connor goes into the clash as underdog, but the pair have similar pro records and the lightweight points out Saturday July 12 is as much a step up for the former amateur of note as it is for him.

“It’s also very early in his career. It’s early for him to be taking on someone undefeated and its a credit to us both for wanting to challenge ourselves.”

O’Connor had a relatively busy 2018 with three fights in total, but has found work harder to come by in 2019.

Indeed, July 12th in Boston will be his first fight in this calendar year. He admits the time out has been a little frustrating and has made the upcoming American adventure all the more exciting.

“It has been a bit frustrating. I had one decent fight fall through and it would have been a cracker. Id have won that fight too. Now I’m buzzing to be fighting in America.”

“I got the opportunity to fight over in Gleasons Gym with my old amateur club Monkstown BC, great memories,” he adds before revealing how easy the possible breakthrough fight was to make. 

“Paschal [Collins] asked me would I be up for fighting one of the Murphys home guys and I jumped at the chance.”


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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 sports for a living for over 20 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