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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 25 September, 2018

'I was locked up for a full year. My youngest was three months when I got out of prison'

Craig O’Brien has found his calling on the straight and narrow.

DUBLIN LIGHT-MIDDLEWEIGHT BOXER Craig O’Brien picked up his first title as a professional last month when he survived a career-first knockdown to outpoint Brittany’s Alain Alfred at the National Stadium and become BUI Celtic champion.

The 28-year-old is difficult to keep down, as it so happens. His formative years blighted by a Venn Diagram intersection of crime and the untimely losses of close friends, O’Brien made a couple of stops in prison – his longest spell a three-year sentence with two suspended – en route to finding his saving grace between the ropes.

During his 12 months spent behind bars in 2010, he missed the birth of his first child. On his release, he vowed it would be his final visit, eventually availing of the option to channel personal frustrations into a legal if still-treacherous pursuit, having first laced up the gloves when he himself was a child at the turn of the millennium.

He’s fought six times as a professional since debuting at the Red Cow Moran Hotel in February of 2015, winning all six, including his maiden strap last month.

Turmoil long since left in his rear-view, the aptly-named ‘Iron’ has recently been honoured both by his hometown football club, Bohemians, and Dublin Lord Mayor Mícheál MacDonncha.

The mini-documentary below, produced by FightStore Media, first aired during O’Brien’s civic reception with the latter at Dublin’s Mansion House on Saturday night.

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