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Returning Phelan and O’Neill on a historic collision course?

Step one toward a historic first Irish female title fight could be taken this spring.

Irish-boxing.com understands both Cheyanne O’Neill and Katelynn Phelan will end their sabbatical from the ring in March and that it’s likely both will populate the same fight card.

It’s also understood the pro fighter’s managers have deliberately moved to place them on the same card to plant an Irish title seed.

If their Irish title plan does come to fruition it would mean both fighters would make history as competitors of the first-ever professional female Irish title fight.

It would also be an eagerly anticipated all-Irish clash in its own right, two former amateurs of note meeting in a fight almost guaranteed to entertain.

An Irish title fight between the pair is something that has already been hinted at by Phelan’s manager Ian Gaughran.

“Obviously becoming the first-ever women’s Irish champion would be an obvious target we will look at and, as she is ranked number 11 in the WBC rankings, there are going to be big opportunities for her,” he told Irish-boxing.com.

Robbie Flynn, O’Neill’s manager revealed the European Youth medal winner’s willingness to fight for titles when speaking to Irish-boxing.com before she turned over.

“We’ll be looking for Cheyanne to challenge for her first title hopefully in three fights time and on the big stage. I’d love Cheyanne to go as traditional-a-route as possible starting with the BUI Celtic title to close out the year.”

Both have to return to the ring, prove themselves Irish title-worthy to the Boxing Union of Ireland and find a weight to meet at – but it’s understood those processes are underway.

O’Neill hasn’t made a ring appearance since April of last year. The ‘made for the pros’ welterweight was held to a draw on her debut.

It wasn’t the worst result, especially considering she hadn’t felt competitive canvas under her feet for nigh on five years, fought over six for the first time ever, and was in against Lithuanian Vaida Masiokaite, a fighter with a degree in frustrating opponents.

However, she will be keen to get a first win when she returns in the spring and will need both rounds and victories to move into the Irish title picture.

It looked like Lillywhite lift-off for Kildare’s Phelan when she stopped Jessica Shadko to pick up the WBC world youth title in Germany in the February of 2020. However, she has fought just once since.

The St Brigid’s graduate is now back training under Daniel Anderson and is plotting an impactful return under Gaughran’s guidance.


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years