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Skill can win out over size claims new heavyweight O’Neill

FORMER middleweight Senior Champion Darren O’Neill faces the ultimate heavyweight test this Friday night, but believes he has the arsenal to overcome a giant challenge.

O’Neill, an Olympian and middleweight, trades leather with Kenneth Okungbowa in his first decider at his new weight giving away plenty of size at the weight, but remains confident he can add to his collection of four middleweight belts.

Athlone’s Okungbowa looked impressive and certainly was one of the most improved performers in the semi finals on Saturday night has the physical advantages, but eight time finalist O’Neill, who beat Crumlin’s John Joe McDonagh in his semi final thinks skill can win him the belt.

O’Neill said: “Ken is a big, strong man. You can see that just by his definition. It is going to be a test for me in the sense that I’m moving up to heavyweight for first time. He’s going to physically pressure me,” the Paulstown amateur said.

“He has long arms, I have enough boxing to navigate my way around that. He’s a big man and I don’t want to stand and trade, I think that I have enough in my arsenal to combat him.

“John Joe was tricky enough. I think some some people may have underestimated him, I definitely didn’t. I didn’t box my best but at the same time I had enough in the tank to get the job done.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years