Niall O’Connor celebrates his win at the Celtic Clash. Picture: Alan Finn

NIALL O’Connor secured his second win as a professional boxer last weekend after proving far too strong for Spaniard Manuel Prieto on the Celtic Clash 4 undercard at the National Stadium.
The Ballybrack light welterweight was slow to get into the fight but eventually found his rhythm and won on a third round stoppage.
“I started off a bit slow,” O’Connor told Dublin Gazette after the fight. “I don’t know what it was but I didn’t feel as sharp. I went back to the corner and I knew I needed to just get with it. Get the jab going and stuff like that. What the lads tell me to work on in the gym, I just did it.
“I thought I did well today though. I was nice and relaxed waiting for him to tire out, make him miss, take his heart away, then load up on the hard right-hands.”
O’Connor defeated Pal Olah in his debut bout but was left frustrated by the negative Pole. This time round he was posed a much more positive challenge and he was all the happier for it.
“He came to fight, he wasn’t negative,” O’Connor said. “You get a lot of those journeymen who are just there to get their wages then say ‘fight next week?’ but he came to fight so props to him.”
Despite coming to fight, the damage eventually told on Prieto and he was visibly less inclined to come forward as the fight wore on.
“He was then sent to the canvas after absorbing a number of big shots.
“I don’t think he wanted to know anymore, even when he got back up. Every time I hit him he was wincing. I hurt him with a right and I knew then that if I put in on him, I would be able to finish him.
“You can watch all the videos you like of these lads, then when they come out it is completely different. I don’t really what to expect before my fights.
“I just try to keep calm and do what my trainer tells me to do. Stick to the plan that is going to win. That is what I’m going to do from now on anyway.”
O’Connor also praised his family for continuing to show support by buying tickets to the events
“Huge props to my family and friends because without them buying tickets, I wouldn’t’ be boxing. It’s a hard aul graft the pro game.
“People saw good fights tonight. It wasn’t boring so people will come back and pay money for the next one.”
With someone coming at me more, I was able to counter more and show a bit of my boxing.
Loughlinstown fight Jay Byrne was the co-main event on the card and he left the arena as the new BUI Celtic welterweight champion after a knockout victory over Ger Whitehouse.

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