You recently beat Hungarian boxer Edina Kiss (10-1), putting on a boxing clinic and winning every round on all three scorecards. Your huge following of loyal fans that couldn’t be there at the venue, missed out after Fox Sports decided not to show the fight. We’ve been promised your fight on Saturday night on the massive Joseph Parker vs Andy Ruiz card, will be shown. Do you have a message for your legion of fans, and for potential new fans tuning in to watch you?
O'Connell: “I have been guaranteed this time, scheduled for approximately 5:30pm Brisbane time on Saturday (6:30pm AEDT). When I fought in Melbourne, Lynden (Hosking) had to push to get me on TV. Duco may not have been aware of that, and Fox Sports came back and said they ran out of time. I thought they could have at least shown some highlights.”
2016 has been your most active year since 2012, as this will be your fourth fight for the year. Does that continuity hold you in good stead heading into this fight?
O'Connell: “Yeah for sure. To be honest, this year could have been even more active, as I only fought once before August. Next year I will most likely have my first fight in February, so it should be even busier.”
What kind of a challenge does Griffa present, in terms of her strengths? Do you think the neutral territory of New Zealand will favour you in some ways?
O'Connell: “She’s a boxer. I am either going to have to outbox her, or turn it into a fight. I plan to outbox her. She’s highly skilled. All of my opponents this year have been different. This girl is a nice neat boxer. She brings some points of difference. The fights this year have allowed me to show that I can deal with any kind of fighter. Although I’m not a Kiwi, I am expecting some support. Australia is closer to NZ than Argentina, and we have that relationship, so that should help."
Amanda Serrano will defend her WBO world title against former world champion Yasmin Rivas on January 14th, 2017. Rated among the likes of both Serrano and Rivas, would you like to have a crack at the winner of that fight?
O'Connell: “Absolutely. The Serrano fight was mentioned to us a few weeks ago and we jumped at the opportunity, but they decided to go with a different opponent. Rivas is not a true super bantamweight. Serrano wins, and I’ll fight her in a heartbeat.”
You’ve been the WBC silver champion for some time now. The champion Alicia Ashley lost the world title against Fatuma Zarika on October 1st. Could a win on Saturday night earn you a shot at the WBC Super Bantamweight world title in early 2017? Would a fight against Liliana Palmera(WBA world champ) be another option, perhaps?
O'Connell: “I am at a stage where they are all options. I have been the WBC mandatory since April. I have defended it twice, and still nothing. I will fight any of them. I would like a shot at a title, I don’t care who against, I don’t care who’s defending it. I have proven over time that I will fight anyone. I’m in a position right now, with better management, where I am not desperate for fights. I am happy to fight anybody in my weight division for any of the world titles.”
All articles featured on the Australian Boxing Central website are written by Tai Tuiniua, and all interviews are conducted by Mark Franklin, unless stated otherwise.