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Top of the Bill? Exciting Bout Next for Owen O’Neill

Owen O’Neill [8-0] expects to compete in the kind of ‘big fight’ that will get fight fans very excited when he next steps into the ring.

‘The Operator’ became title eligible after a six-round win over Justin Menzie in his first fight of 2022 on the undercard of the eagerly anticipated and highly entertaining Graham McCormackDominic Donegan light middleweight title fight.

And speaking after his victory the Belfast fighter hinted that a similar kind of fan-friendly domestic clash awaits him.

“I’ll be in a big fight next, hopefully,” he smiles when asked the mandatory ‘what’s next’ question by Irish-blxing.com.

“We’ll that’s what I’m hoping for, I’m leaving that to Mark [Dunlop] and the team,” he adds trying to throw us off the scent.

When pushed further he wouldn’t give much away other than to say it will be one that will generate that much interest that it could top a bill.

“I can’t say much, just that it’s a big one. It will be exciting and maybe top of a bill.”

There is faint rumour Mark Dunlop will put on another MHD card in Belfast in September, if the promoter wins purse bids for Eric Donovan’s mandated EU title challenge he may go to the Ulster Hall and try persuade Fight Zone to get involved, or he could put O’Neill on top of a Europa card, or do both.

‘Triple O’ has expressed an interest in fighting Cavan’s Donegan, he wants Intermediate Ulster Final revenge, and it has been suggested that could be made for a title fight, although O’Neill wouldn’t be drawn on it.

He was happy to discuss his eight career win, which came after a career-best performance. O’Neill faced a tricky foe in Justin Menzie and was happy with how with his display against a patience-testing foe.

“He was the best fighter I fought, definitely. He had 5 wins and 6 defeats, he was tricky, really tricky. It seemed like it was easy at the start but as the fight went on then he start doing that mad shite. I dunno what the f*ck he was doing. It was weird but I couldn’t switch off. If I did he’d clip me. There were a couple of times he did clip me. He caught me a couple of wee uppercuts. A few tricky ones but once I stayed focused I felt in control the whole time. He was my first southpaw too.”

The return of O’Neill also saw the return of one of the best small hall followings in boxing. The Dee Walsh trained fighter’s support was out in force and he enjoyed hearing their unique noise again.

“It was some buzz, wasn’t it?” he beams.

“The ring walk and the noise it was even nice to hear that again. I sold 90 tickets it was good to hear everyone like that again. It was the first
time I sold out since before covid, it was brilliant. I think ith the right fight, a 50/50 we could top a bill and bring a bigger crowd.”

Photo Credit Cáelán Ó Connmhacháin Belfast Boxers

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com