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Olympian Darren O'Neill to join pro boxing ranks at 33

Team captain at London 2012, O’Neill will likely turn 34 before his pro debut come around.
Jul 18th 2019, 5:03 PM 7,098 1

SIX-TIME NATIONAL champion boxer Darren O’Neill has decided to turn professional at the age of 33.

O’Neill seemed set to stay at amateur status until teaming up with trainer Steven O’Rourke, who announced that O’Neill could be in pro ranks by October — after his 34th birthday.

The Kilkenny boxer, who hurled with his county until U21 level, qualified for the Olympic Games in 2012 and captained the boxing team in London before suffering a disappointing exit at in the round of 16.

“I always said if I made the Olympics, I’d retire,” O’Neill told The42 in 2016, “and I got to London and I thought: ‘you know what I’m enjoying this still’.

I was still young, 26 at the time, and once you retire that’s it then there’s no turning back the clock.”

The Paulstown native claimed a European silver and four national titles at middleweight and was Irish champion twice at heavyweight, but his attention now turns away from his haul of amateur medals and towards a professional career path which starts in Inchicore.

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Sean Farrell

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