BOSTON – Last Saturday, Framingham’s Danny O’Connor was one of more than three dozen Framingham firefighters battling the blaze at the Old Path Village strip mall that burnt to the ground, and destroyed 10 businesses.
This Saturday night, O’Connor will step into the ring against Michael McLaughlin of Ireland in a title fight at the House of Blues in Boston, after a concert by the Dropkick Murphys.
O’Connor is signed with Murphys Boxing, which was founded by Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys.
Today, the two boxers, both who are signed to Murphys Boxing, will weigh in at the House of Blues. Although the Saturday night fight is sold out, the public can attend the weigh-in 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the House of Blues, and hear a sound check for the DropKick Murphys who are performing a couple of concert this weekend. There will also be raffles and a cash bar.
O’Connor, who has a record of 27-3, with 10 KO’s, said it is “not unusual at all” that two boxers signed to the same promotional company will fight it out in the same ring in a title fight.
“In boxing, it’s a common thing,” said O’Connor.
“Training form doesn’t change. I train for every fight like it’s for a championship title until the day that it is really for the championship title of the world. Just so happens this one is actually for two minor titles. The New England welterweight title and the all Republic of Ireland championship title,” said O’Connor. “I’m focused and ready for everything.”
O’Connor, who grew up in Framingham and started boxing with the Police Athletic League, recently became a firefighter with the Town of Framingham.
“I’m proud and honored to be part of the Framingham Fire Department. I’m dedicated to the fire service, the community, and my responsibilities as a firefighter. I’m learning the job under great senior people with experience and I am working hard to one day turn into a great firefighter,” he said.
Along with being a firefighter, and training for fights in the ring, O’Connor is also the “driving force” behind a non profit called Off The Canvas, a mentoring program to help at-risk youths.
“The more awareness I bring to the charity and what it does the greater chance it has to reach more people and potentially help more,” said O’Connor. “There is always a part of any money I can make or raise that goes to the charity.”
O’Connor said Off the Canvas is ” not my only reason for boxing though. ”
“I’m working hard with my boxing coach and fellow firefighter Adam Quitt to win a world championship belt. A dream I have had since the first time I put on a pair of boxing gloves as a kid,” said O’Connor. “It’s not something many people can do and when you have a chance at something special id like to take it and eliminate any possible regrets or “what if’s.” It will be a special day when I can bring a world championship belt back to Framingham.”
O’Connor’s opponent Saturday night has a record of 12-1-1, with 5KOs.
The doors to the House of Blues open at 8 p.m., with fights starting at 9 p.m.
Even though the fight is sold out, it is expected to be live streamed.