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O’Reilly not intimidated by Darren O’Neill ahead of heavyweight final

It’s easy to not be intimidated in the ring when your brother is a World Championships bronze medalist.

At least that’s the case for Bernie O’Reilly who faces Olympian Darren O’Neill in Friday’s Elite heavyweight final.

The Portlaoise BC man spoke to following his close semi-final win over Kiril Afanasev last weekend, a clash he described as “a good fight, a tough fight, your man was a bit awkward so I just stuck to the gameplan and everything worked out for me.”

“I’d just like to thank Portlaoise Boxing Club for all the work they put in for me. And all my friends and my father and mother.”

Going into the final, the Pat Ryan-trained fighter claimed that “I’m looking forward to it, I’m very confident.”

“Just stick to the gameplan and hopefully everything will go well for me.”

Indeed O’Reilly holds no fear of the decorated veteran, explaining that it “doesn’t make a difference to me, I’m at it that long now at this stage, it’s nothing to me.”

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: