The Kerry super feather had her chin checked by tough Pole Bojana Libiszewska but was able to fight her way to a four-round 40-37 win and now wants there to be changes as she moves onto fight number three.
Whereas debut opponent Klaudia Csazar was crumpled by O’Leary’s powerful shots, a bloodied Libiszewska was able to withstand the piston jabs and right hands and fire back.
It was the perfect second fight for the Limerick-based woman who was given eight minutes of tough work – but the lead-in was far from perfect for the Killarney puncher.
“She took some good shots,” O’Leary admitted afterwards to Irish-Boxing.com.
“I honestly thought I’d get her out of there, well that was my mindset going into it, but she is durable. When I say she is durable, I mean she was fucking durable,” she laughed before noting the progression.
O’Leary described how “I feel I was tentative and loading up a little, but that was a great learning fight.”
“You’d learn more from that than any spars. She took a few right hands like a trooper. I think that was the best step up I could get for my second fight.”
“She was in with some great operators so I am glad I can get in there and hold my own with her.”
I am happy I did the four rounds, I am happy to be 2-0 and I am happy I won. I said beforehand my job is to box and win and that’s what I did,” she added before revealing some previously unknown problems that may have hindered her on the night.
O’Leary noted how “it’s been a tough camp there was a few things that went wrong. On Thursday I wasn’t boxing. So I am happy with my grit not just in the fight but in this week.”
“It was a grand performance. I’d say 4/10, but I am my worst critic. I got tired from nerves.”
The defence will need to be tightened as she moves through the ranks and perhaps a better judgement of range, but O’Leary certainly has pop.
The Corpus Christi graduate explained how “I always had a good strong jab, Eddie [Hyland, coach] has been working on it too.”
“It is a good stiff long jab and I have to get into the habit of doubling it. It could be a weapon to keep fighters like her off me.”
“I still have a lot to learn. Honestly, I do, and a fight like that helps,” she adds before highlighting a problem she has been experiencing.
“The one thing I would like to improve on is getting more sparring. I maybe sparred 15 rounds for this camp. We have to sort something out.”
“It’s just really hard to get females to spar me. I am not saying that in a big headed or egotistical way, it’s just a fact. I can’t get girls my weight to spar.”
“It’s grand for me to spar the lads, but they are going to hold back a bit and physically they will be stronger.”
At 35, O’Leary is looking to progress but is wary of rushing.
While some would say, following a busy four on Saturday night, the time is now to move to six rounds, O’Leary is looking to build.
“Look, it’s one step at a time.,” she outlined.
“So, next for me is to sit down with them [Boxing Ireland’s Leonard Gunning and Stephen Sharpe].”
“Just thinking about it now maybe I need another learning fight. There is no harm in it. Maybe a fight or two then we step up to six rounds? I trust Stephen and Len to map out my path.”
“I am never going to be too stylish. I like a knock. I like a fight. I am only fighting six or seven years. I haven’t got European and Olympic experience. I feel I am with the best coach in Ireland to bring me on and add more to me.”
“I think I have improved since my first fight. I have improved on all fronts even mentally and all the team have helped with that. So for me now my job is to improve and I leave the matchmaking to the team.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)