Homecoming for O’Connor!
By Mark Vaz
The buzz in Boston this week is that native son Danny O’Connor has returned home for his first professional fight. After an outstanding amateur career which included winning the 2008 National Golden Gloves light welterweight championship and concluded with an alternate spot on the 2008 U.S.A Olympic Boxing Team, O’Connor signed with Seminole Warrior’s Promotions, and has fought in New Hampshire, Canada, and Florida, including an ESPN2 appearance two weeks ago. Scheduled to fight in New York, his hometown fans got lucky when The Garden show fell through and he was added to Saturday’s Celtic Pride Boxing action-packed St. Patrick’s Day Weekend show at the Dorchester Armory in Boston.
O’Connor will face veteran Charles Wade (4-7, 1 KO), who was once an outstanding amateur himself.
The 23 year-old O’Connor (4 -0, 1 KO) is thrilled to be fighting in front of his friends and family for the first time as a professional. “I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when I walk in the ring with everyone cheering for me,” said the personable young man, who may be exactly what boxing is searching for – a fighter with talent, style, personality, and integrity.
The main event on the nine-bout card will feature Irish featherweight champ Patrick Hyland (15-0, 8 KOs) fighting for the IBA International title against tough Nicaraguan challenger Carlos Guevara (12-8-2, 9 KOs). Guevara has been a road warrior in his career, fighting top contenders around the world.
The co-feature will showcase Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (6-0, 5 KOs) of Cork, Ireland, in his second bout here in the US. “Spike” will step up in competition against veteran Jimmy LeBlanc (12-15, 9 KOs) of nearby South Boston in an eight-rounder for the AFO light middleweight title.
Also in action is hard-hitting light heavyweight Eddie Caminero (5-0, 5 KOs) from nearby Lawrence. Plus a lot of local favorites will make their pro debuts, including super middleweight Dan Conway, welterweight Justin Paulo, welterweight Antonio Chavez-Fernandes, heavyweight Steve Jaegar and heavyweight Alexis Santos.
Tickets are priced at $30 (standing room), $40 (general seating) and $50 (ringside). Tickets will be available at the box office or call 508-746-0176. The doors open at 6:30 pm and the first bout is at 7:30 pm. The Dorchester Armory is located at 70 Victory Road in Dorchester, MASS.