Talking to boxers is always interesting. No matter what stage of their career they are at, I believe that it is always worthwhile to probe for information those who get in the ring and compete. When the opportunity presents itself I am happy to speak with boxers at any level and try to bring their insights to the NY FIGHTS readers.
The subject of this piece, Josh O'Reilly, is a 10-0 (4KOs) professional from Ontario, Canada. Josh is an ambassador for the charity Fight To End Cancer and it was the founder of that charity and former interviewee here, Jennifer Huggins, who suggested Josh as a candidate for interview.
Having recently picked up his first professional title it is fair to say that Josh is now moving into the stage of his campaign where he would like to be regarded as a contender instead of a prospect. Read on to learn about Josh's fighting style, his views on boxing away from home and his hopes for 2018.
Josh is available @dubsyoreilly on Twitter and Instagram.
CM: Hi Josh. Can you begin by telling the readers a bit about your pro career so far and what style of fighter you are?
JOR: I'm 10-0, 4KOs as a pro now. I just won my first title – IBA Intercontinental title. I'm a 5'10 lightweight. Quite tall. I can box from the outside, but I'm also comfortable on the inside. I'm a good body puncher and I like to mix it up.
CM: You are from Ontario, Canada. How is the boxing scene in Canada?
JOR: The pro boxing scene in Canada is picking up. Montreal is a hot spot but it's starting to pick up in Ontario quite a bit now. I'm looking forward to seeing it grow over the next few years here at home.
CM: All your pro bouts so far have taken place in Canada. Are you happy with this at this point in your campaign or are you looking to gain some experience fighting out of country?
JOR: I'm happy enough to be fighting at home so far in my career. My career is on point so far. I realise to get my name bigger and get better money and accolades eventually I will need to go away from home.
CM: I noticed from your record that apart from your first two contests you have always been matched against opponents with winning records. Have you noticed a gradual improvement in the standard of your foes as you climb the rankings?
JOR: Ya, the opponents have been getting more experienced but I've been getting more comfortable in the ring as a pro and adjusting my style. An example of this is I'm now picking my shots better and I've been stopping the more experienced guys I've been facing. I'm happy with how I'm developing.
CM: You are listed as a lightweight but the record shows on occasion you weighing in around 132, 133 pounds. Could you make 130 or is 135 where you see yourself fighting for the foreseeable future?
JOR: I'm a lightweight, I'm a big lightweight. I don't see myself being able to make 130lbs again.
CM: Something I've been wondering for a while now. What are your thoughts in the moments right before you box – say from the ring walk until the opening bell – are there nerves, any worries or fears or is it all focus on your game plan for that particular fight?
JOR: My last fight I had no nerves at all, it was weird. I felt extremely prepared and was ready for anything. The fight before that I was actually more scared than I had ever been. I was sick in the last week and I had hurt my back a few days before. It was hard to throw punches and even breathe. On top of that it was my first fight with my new coach and my first main event. Lots of stuff going on, but we got through it.
CM: Finally, we are now at the time of year where attention is paid to the passing of time – many of us begin to make plans and set goals for the upcoming calendar year. In that spirit, what are your plans career wise for 2018?
JOR: The plans for 2018 are to keep winning and hopefully pick up another title. I'd like to set up a few domestic fights as I want to be the number one lightweight in the country. From there I want to progress and be on the international scene by the end of 2018.