Thomas O’Toole was delighted to see his names up in lights alongside all-time great Manny Pacquiao.
The Galway light heavyweight has shipped out to Boston to debut at Moseley’s On the Charles, Dedham, Massachusetts this coming Saturday – and seems to be getting the big push from the Ryan Roach-run Fight Locker.
The American promotional outfit have big plans for the Connemara Gaelgeoir and haven’t been afraid to let the world know he enters the pro ranks this weekend.
That has lead the wider boxing media to cover his paid bow, which in turn allowed the unassuming Celtic Eagles graduate to rejoice in seeing his name next to multi-weight superstar Pacquiao.
“I’ve seen many articles about me which is great, there is a small bit of hype which is amazing. I even seen an article about Manny Pacquiao and I was underneath it! Amazing to see this stuff! The support is overwhelming.”
Pacquiao, of course, has a long relationship with legendary Freddie Roach, the uncle of O’Toole’s new manager.
However, there’s no Wild Card training camp or Hollywood glamour for O’Toole who has been grinding in Galway under coach Pawel Popko.
Noting the contrast between pro and amateur, he explains how “it’s been different I’ve been sparring more rounds than ever before to try and get used to more rounds.”
“It’s been very challenging I was working two jobs and training for this fight the last three months as I was doing an internship for experience but now I’ll box as full time as possible!”
O’Toole is one of those fighters that has support at home and in America – and it seems from people and places he is unaware of.
“The reaction has been great and there are people I don’t even know that are looking to come to the fight which is crazy!”
The 2019 National Elite Champion has family in Boston and thus support in an area noted for getting behind the Irish. O’Toole now plans on showing them he is worth getting behind and promised to emulate the likes of Sean Mannion and Steve Collins and become a big name to emerge from Boston.
“Last time I was here was five years ago before I won anything so they don’t know what to expect but I’ll be bringing fireworks. I want to be the next big Irish fighter out of Boston.”
O’Toole debuts against Francisco Ariri Neto, a fighter who shouldn’t give him trouble but a fighter he hopes gives him rounds.
“I’m hoping to get rounds and to be exposed to the atmosphere of a pro fight. I haven’t fought since the [second] Elites in 2019 so I need to get the ring rust off.”
“I’m feeling good, this week is all about keeping sharp and staying loose. Can’t wait to begin this journey and see what happens.