‘I’ve had a little look at my quarter-final opponent Steven Donnelly – I know all about his pedigree as an Olympian, and he’s obviously very good, but I believe I can take him.’
Ish O’Connor has been catapulted into the main draw of Ultimate Boxxer 5 as a late replacement for the unfortunate Aaron Collins, who was forced to withdraw through injury. Originally a karate competitor, O’Connor came to boxing late as a 24-year-old, but with a father, uncle and older brother who were all boxing men, it was no surprise that he eventually succumbed to the lure of the ring. He faces former Olympian Steven Donnelly in the quarter-final – a prospect that does not faze the undefeated prospect from Ipswich
How long have you been boxing?
‘Not that long, probably about six years now – I was about 24 when I first got into it at Ipswich ABC.’
What got you into the sport?
‘I had an older brother who was into it, and my father and uncle were fighters – my uncle especially fought at a good level in the army – so I became involved after giving football and karate the chop. I caught the bug very quickly, and it helped that I took to it quite naturally too. I’m trained by Jamie Monk at Ipswich Pro Boxing Club, he’s incredibly-helpful for me.’
Why Ultimate Boxxer?
‘I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and it’s a great chance for me to get my name out there. i’m in the gym every day – and i’m always ready to fight – so when the call came in I was always going to take it. I’ve had a little look at my quarter-final opponent Steven Donnelly – I know all about his pedigree as an Olympian, and he’s obviously very good, but I believe I can take him. I think he will find it difficult to hit me.’
Why should we make you the favourite for the UB5 Golden Robe?
‘Quite simply, because I’m the fastest boxer in the tournament and you’re going to see that on the night. I’m going to put on a good show, and I hope I can do my thing on September 20.
When you’re training, what’s on the music playlist?
‘It’s a funny one, because I’m not a huge music fan! I’ll have stuff on my playlist, but I’m not particularly passionate about a certain type of music. I get my motivation from my family and my kids.’
Who is your favourite fighter?
‘Without a doubt it has to be Roy Jones Jnr, an unbelievable fighter.’
What would be your dream fight, if we could transform your weight, height, or put you in a time machine?
‘Oh, that’s easy, I’m fighting Roy! Get me in there with that man! It would be my dream fight all day long.’