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World Title Opponent shows how close Kristina O’Hara-McCafferty is to the top

Kristina O’Hara-McCafferty [2-0] knows the fact her original opponent for tonight has just challenged for a world title means big fights could be just around the corner – but she remains adamant she has to stay focused on navigating the bend ahead.

O’Hara-McCafferty, who has had two solid and testing fights so far in her career, was scheduled for another step up as she steps into the BBC spotlight tonight.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist was due to fight Breda Balderas, only for the Mexican to get reward for a run of wins with a world title shot.

Balderas was beaten by WBA atomweight champion Monserrat Alarcon last weekend in a competitive fight but the fact she got the call shows just how close the Belfast prospect is to major bouts. With the pool sparse down at lowest of weights, O’Hara-McCafferty could be just one good win away from a tilt, or even two routine wins away from some form of title challenge.

It’s something she seems aware of but not something she thinks about. The Irish Boxing Awards Debut of the Year winner takes a ‘fight who I’m told’ approach and also doesn’t want to look beyond her this weekend’s opponent – former European title challenger Judit Hachbold [5(1)-16(1)].

“I’m not really thinking about that at the minute,” she says when asked if Balderas’s world title shot is proof she is close to challenging for straps.

“That’s something that the team can decide when they think I’m ready. I will say I will fight anyone, who they put in front of me. That’s what boxing is all about. I have no doubt I will be a world champion someday but I’ll take it every fight at a time, I can’t jump the gun or overlook anyone,” she adds.

“I always take it fight by fight, concentrate on who is at the opposite side of the ring. I do believe we will get title opportunities very shortly but, for now, we’re focusing on Saturday.”

Balderas would have been in keeping with O’Hara-McCafferty’s tough opponent approach considering she started against Argentines Maira Loyola and Camila Avaca.

It’s an approach she says she is always had and an approach she suggests will allow her to be comfortable in the knowledge she earned her world title success when it comes.

“It does say a lot about me as a competitor, and in good time when I earn my spot at the top it will be well deserved.”

First and foremost for the 26-year-old is the challenge of Hachbold. The Hungarian has become a journeywoman in recent years, but has proven to be durable and has operated up the scales over a long career.

“Judit has had over 20 fights, has boxed for two European titles and is a very experienced fighter. I expect her to bring her A-game but I know what we’ve done this camp and I know what I’m capable of.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years