Saturday, May 5, 2012

Boston v New York - Danny O’Connor Headlines Fight Night at the House of Blues

May 24 at the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street will be a special night for local boxer Danny O’Connor and The Dropkick Murphy’s charity, The Claddagh Fund. For over a century Boston’s baseball players have done battle against their New York counterparts on the Fenway Park diamond across the road, and the rivalry against the city 3 hours down I-95 will taken to the ring. A professional fight night featuring boxers from Boston versus New York will be headlined by Framingham native, Danny O’Connor and Daniel Sostre. The proceeds will go to benefit The Claddagh Fund.

The New England region has a long and proud tradition of producing world champion boxers. Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler are among some of the names that come to mind. The Irish, as one would come to expect, have played a significant role since John L. Sullivan won the hearts of Bostonians and the nation in the late 1800s. Born in Boston’s South End to Irish immigrants, Sullivan was the first sports celebrity in the United States, and held the distinction of being the last bare knuckle champion and the first gloved title-holder. In recent years, Sean Mannion, Kevin McBride, and celebrated on the big screen, “Irish” Mickey Ward, have carried on the thread of Irish and Irish American boxers in the region.

Danny O'Connor will be fighting at the
House of Blues May 24.
Danny O’Connor aims to restore the proud boxing tradition in the northeast corner of the country. Danny hails from Framingham, Mass. and is a light welterweight. He is a 2 time national amateur champ and has a 16-1 professional record with 3 KOs. The 26-year old operates on a hard work and perseverance philosophy. The solitary loss speaks more to Danny’s guts and competitiveness than anything else. Unfortunately, at the time of the fight, nobody recognized the severity of Danny’s condition before the fight. Despite coughing up blood in the locker room, Danny fulfilled his bout and ended up losing on points. It was later determined that Danny had severe anemia and bleeding ulcers. Danny, 26, is in training in Houston under the tutelage of Ronnie Shields. Back to full health, has his eyes set on a world title shot. Shields has trained the likes of Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Pernell Whitaker. Danny literally wears his Irish heritage on his shorts and is very much proud of where his Donegal roots. He is a dedicated father and family man.

Danny recently got the backing of the Dropkick Murphy’s through volunteering with their charity, The Claddagh Fund. The Claddagh Fund supports many local charities including the Franciscan Children’s Hospital and the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club. Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphy’s explained how it came to pass. “Danny and I had just become friends,” explained Ken. “He was doing some work for our charity foundation and I quickly realized he was a good kid, a hard worker, a little baby boy to take care of.” Ken thought that he was in a position to use his connections to help Danny on the road to his goal. Ken explained, “I thought maybe I could be of some help to this kid by marketing him to the Dropkick Murphy’s fans and by using some of my local connections to get him some TV and press coverage, but the more I did the more I realized how much more there was to do. It's fun to learn a new business and learn the ropes of something so different but in some other ways so similar to what I do for my real job.”

The night will also feature live music by The Old Brigade and special guests. It promises to be a great night of boxing and music at the House of Blues. Support Danny in his quest to bring a world title to Boston and The Claddagh Fund. Tickets are available by going to or check out Danny’s Facebook page.

By Rory O'Donnell

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