American March – O’Brien targets big Paddy’s Day fight with Murphys light middle

It’s way too early for back to school talk never mind Christmas plans, but following his routine win on the Leeside Revolution card on Saturday night Craig O’Brien [11(1)-(1)] was getting excited about St Patrick’s weekend 2020.

It seems like March of next year is when ‘The Iron’ will get a chance to register a big breakthrough win.

Having being left in some form of Dublin limbo, the Irish champion set about emulating the success of gym mates Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, Niall Kennedy and Ray Moylette by working with Murphys Boxing in America.

O’Brien debuted Stateside against Antonio Chaves Fernandez earlier this year, expects to return to Boston in September, and hopes to fight there twice before the year is out. 

Speaking to on Saturday the naturally talented boxer predicted those two potential 2019 fight dates wouldn’t coincide with massive fights. Rather, the Inner City Dub expects to be handed more time to develop a reputation and following in America.

Yet come March he predicts the break through fight he craves will play out surmising he may appear on the annual Murphys St Patrick’s Day show against a named fighter.

Indeed, he may take on one of the two Murphys Boxton light middles on the promoter’s biggest show of the year.

“It will be probably be another introductory fight in America next, but there are things there and good fights being talked about,” O’Brien told on Saturday.

“So it will be get the name out there again in America, let the fans see me again and then maybe something big on Paddy’s weekend. There are decent names being mentioned. Murphys Boxing have one or two light middleweights so you can draw your own conclusions or do your own maths.”


Ken Casey’s Murphys have Spike O’Sullivan, Greg Vendetti and NABA champion Mark DeLuca at light middle, but the gym-mate, friend, and sparring partner O’Sullivan is never going to be an option.

That leaves the two Massachusetts fighters both of whom look set to be pushed toward a big fight at present.

Defeating either of them live on UFC Fight Pass – which is a possibility as they are broadcasting current Murphys shows – would be a massive moment for the Paschal Collins trained fighter.

Regardless, O’Brien wasn’t willing to say too much and is just hoping to remain busy in 2019.

“I’ve looked it up. Murphys have six fight dates booked in. If I get two or three of them, keep building the profile out there and then please god a big fight when they do the Paddy’s weekend show.”

O’Brien was speaking post his shut out win of Radoslav Mitev on the Leeside Revolution card in Cork. The victory all but summed up why America is calling the Irish title holder. 

It was too easy for the Celtic Warrior Gym fighter. In fact he admits he got bored against the Bulgarian, who in fairness is one of the better journeymen and has upset previous.

O’Brien, whose superior skill set aligned with a boxing approach leaves little room for excitement against such opposition, admits it’s frustrating.

“When you have two title fights and your winning, your name is there and it looks like it’s booming, then it goes quiet it is frustrating.  The [Anthony] Fowler fight was a big fight and when you get beat in boxing you have to rebuild. I think I have done that with three wins now and hopefully we can move to better fights soon,” O’Brien adds.

“Did he come to fight? Listen it was good to get a fight. I thought I was fresh over the first four rounds and I think 80 percent of the shots were stiff shots. I think I threw ever shot in the book, but you get to the stage were you know this lad isn’t going anywhere. He just wants to make the final bell and obviously that is his job and what he is an expert at. The last round just go out an enjoy it.”

“I don’t think he caught me with a shot till the fourth. Let’s be honest he isn’t anything special, but he took some good shots and he is good at what he does. At a stage I did kind of got bored in these fights, but it is what is it. It’s another fight and another six rounds.”

“I have to say thank you to everyone who traveled down. It means a lot to me. I appreciate everyone for the support and those who have helped me out. My sponsors Dublin Plumbling and Gas, Carrickeast Construction, Bowbell Security Systems, and”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)



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Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 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: [email protected]