Super middleweight, Richard O’Neill, has left the Gus Robinson’s Gym, ran by Peter Cope Snr and Alan Temple, in Hartlepool, and has moved to the DBMA Gym in Darlington under the guidance of Peter Shepperson whilst signing a management contract with Tynesider Steve Wraith.
O’Neill, who had three fights under the Cope-Temple tutelage since turning professional in 2015, has felt stagnated of late, and his last fight, a draw with Callum Ide earlier this year, not necessarily his finest performance.
However, since taking advice from his partner, Sarahjane, and others close to the fighter, he made the decision to leave Hartlepool for Darlington aiming for a fresh start, severing all ties in doing so.
“We parted on good terms but I needed to do what was right for me,” explained Richard.
“I looked at a few different options around the region and this is a very good move for me as the one in Hartlepool was becoming difficult to navigate with my work patterns. Here, I’m just seven miles up the road, so it made sense and I’m enjoying my boxing again.”
Six months have passed since O’Neill last laced up the gloves and, although he remained undefeated, the draw with Callum Ide was a tough one to take, and the 31-year-old suffered, in and out of the ring.
A point’s win on his debut, against Scott Hillman, in October 2016 was followed, thirteen months later by a first stoppage success, stopping Rikke Askew in the second round, and, although Ide was just four months later, he’s not happy looking back at it.
“I fought that lad, Callum, back in March, and he’s like 6’5 but you have to learn fast and I did that,” he continued.
“It wasn’t the best camp and I never felt right at all throughout, The last few weeks of camp was pretty bad and I feel, even now, I should have pulled off and it showed as I put in a bad performance.
“I watched it back a few times and we realised I needed to do something and it was my fiancée, Sarahjane, who pointed out what I needed to do.”
Now, with those changes in place, O’Neill is back in the gym, training two-three times-a-day, alongside Chrissy Wood, Ellis Corrie, Chris Burton and former world champion, Stuart Hall, at the Northern Echo Arena-based gym.
A potential return has been pencilled in for Darlington early December although Richard, having recently signed management terms with Steve Wraith, is ready to go and is willing to hit the road to get back to where he believes he should be, challenging for titles.
“I’d like a couple of quick fights to see out this year and will go on the road to do so,” added Richard.
“Then, with I’m hoping a good five or six outings next year, I’d like to think I’d be out challenging for the Area title as well; but it’s fights that I want and will get.”
Also published in the Hartlepool Mail and Newcastle Chronicle