timberland mens boot Boxer ready to take his shot
Coast Guard, “Irish” Tommy O’Connell will take theexperience of24 amateur fights into the ringin his first bout as a professional boxer.
Boston Boxing Promotions has announced O’Connell will make his pro boxing debut on Jan. 27 at the Castleton Banquet Conference Center in Windham, New Hampshire. In a planned four round welterweight bout, O’Connell will face Schenectady, New York’s Bryan “The Brick” Abraham, who has racked up 35 professional fights.
“The promoter said it will be a good match up for me,” said O’Connell, who lives in North Andover but trains at the nonprofit Haverhill Downtown Boxing Club owned and run by Ray Hebert.
“I decided to turn pro as I want to take this to the next level and make a name for myself,” said O’Connell, 25. “And I want to show inner city kids they can do anything they want in life, if they set their mind to it.”
Hebert said O’Connellhas been with his gym ever since it opened in2013.
“He’s a good boxer, and he has a great personality,” Hebert said about O’Connell. “Younger kids really look up to him and all want to work with him. He’s a good role modelandhe has a big influence on their education.”
According to Boston Boxing Promotions, O’Connell is a former standout on the basketball court at North Andover High School and Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, where he graduated in 2014 with a degree in marketing and a minor in psychology.
While in college, he took up boxing as a hobby and for the past six years has been active on the New Englandamateur scene, compiling 24 bouts.
In 2013, he was a Police Athletic League finalist and 2014 a Golden Gloves finalist.
“I’ve always loved to compete in sports,” said O’Connell. “After two dozen amateur fights I feel that now’s the time to take it to the next level, and I can’t wait for my first professional fight on January 27.”
Fighting is in O’Connell’s blood as his grandfather, Homer Rogers, was oncea New England Golden Gloves Champion.
“Both of my parents grew up in Haverhill and graduated from Haverhill High, but they moved to North Andover when I was a child,” he said. “But I still have a lot of family in Haverhill.”
Haverhill has seen its share of accomplished professional fighters including the late Jeff Fraza, who was featured on the first two seasons of NBC’s “The Contender” series hosted by Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard.
Abraham, a far more seasoned pro boxer than O’Connell, is a heavy handed welterweight who has six knockouts in all six of his professional boxing wins.
According to Boston Boxing Promotions, three of those big knockouts came against previously undefeated opponents including Connecticut’s Dominic Desanto and New Bedford’s Johnathan Vazquez, who had a combined record of 9 0 before suffering devastating knockouts by Abraham in the first and third rounds of their respective fights.
“I can’t wait to welcome Tommy O’Connell to the professional ranks,” said Bryan Abraham. “He’s about to learn the difference between amateur and professional boxing smaller gloves, no headgear and my hands that I call my ‘bricks’ knocking him upside his head and making him reconsider why he’s doing this.'”
O’Connell told The Eagle Tribune that he’ll be ready to face Abraham and is looking forward to the bout.
“I’m going into the ring thinking I’m fighting the best in the world,” O’Connell said.
In advance of the fight, O’Connell is stepping up his conditioning.
“I’m basically doubling what I did in preparing for my amateur fightsand I’m doing more strength and condition work so I have more power behind my punches,” he said.
O’Connell said heenlisted in the Coast Guard after college and served two years on the USCGC Forward, which he said was involved in drug and migrant interdiction in the Caribbean.
“Sometimes when I wasn’t on watch, I’d be hitting a heavy bag in the engine room while the ship ran through 10 foot swells,” he said. “I’d be slamming into bulkheads and tryingto stay on my feet.”
O’Connellserved his final two years in the Coast Guard at Station Boston, working on small boats involved in search and rescue as well as safety and security.
He finished his four years of service a few weeks ago.
“Right now I’m focused on the fight as I’m really looking forward to it, then I’ll be looking for work, possibly in law enforcement,” O’Connell said.
Boston Boxing Promotions was founded in 2013 and is dedicated to the resurgence of professional boxing at the regional level, particularly in the New England area.
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