|O'Connor-Claggett Promotional Poster Credit: FiteTV|
An intriguing battle between two world-class Jr. Welterweights on Saturday night at the House of Blues in Boston, MA that one could call a “Crossroads” fight for both fighters. A fight between two veterans who are each looking to catapult themselves into title contention as Danny O’Connor will make the first defense of his WBC International Silver Jr. Welterweight championship against former Canadian Welterweight champion Steve Claggett in a bout that will headline a pay-per-view card here in the United States.
O’Connor, a native of Framingham, MA will enter this fight with a record of 29-3, with 11 Knockouts and has won his previous three bouts since suffering a knockout loss in his second meeting with longtime contender Gabriel Bracero in October 2015. O’Connor’s second loss to Bracero was a brutal first round knockout where Bracero brought the fight to its conclusion before it could really start, knocking O’Connor out with a single overhand right that sent O’Connor down and out before he hit the canvas just forty-one seconds into the bout. The severity of the knockout resulted in O’Connor being taken to a nearby hospital after the fight for observation.
Although it can be tempting for Boxing fans to write a fighter off after a knockout loss that came in the first round and to be more specific after a devastating knockout like O’Connor suffered, it is important to remember that as this observer has said frequently over the years that Boxing much like all combat sports is a sport where anything can happen at any time. Rather than include quotes that are familiar to longtime readers when similar circumstances and situations are discussed by yours truly, I believe despite the sudden and brutal way Bracero’s knockout of O’Connor came, that it was a case where a fighter simply got caught more so than a reflection on O’Connor’s ability as a fighter or his standing as a contender going forward. It is also noteworthy that it was the only time in O’Connor’s thirty-two professional fights that he had been stopped inside the distance.
After taking nearly a year off to recover and regroup from the knockout loss to Bracero, O’Connor returned to the ring in August 2016 scoring an eight round split decision over previously undefeated Jerry Thomas. O’Connor followed that victory with two more subsequent wins including in his last fight scoring a third round stoppage over previously undefeated Daniel Gonzalez to win the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) International Silver championship.
O’Connor will now look to build on his momentum by facing veteran contender Steve Claggett. Claggett, a native of Calgary, Alberta, CN one might argue is at a similar stage in his career as O’Connor. Much like his opponent, Claggett has won his previous three fights after suffering a setback. In April 2016 Claggett lost a ten round majority decision to Chris Van Heerden in the 147lb. Welterweight division. Following that loss Claggett, who will enter this fight with O’Connor with a record of 26-4-1, with 17 Knockouts, moved down in weight to the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division and has gone 3-0, with 1 Knockout in his previous three fights. In addition to holding the Canadian Welterweight championship, Claggett has also held the North American Boxing Association (NABA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) North American Jr. Welterweight championships in his career. In his last fight, Claggett scored a ten round split decision over Yves Ulysse in October of last year.
This figures to be a bout between two boxer/punchers as neither fighter is known for their punching power, but both O’Connor and Claggett have shown the ability to go the distance throughout their careers. It is logical to assume based on this that a tactical battle may take place between the two where it could come down to who is simply able to be more effective in a fight that appears on paper to be evenly matched.
While some Boxing fans may choose to criticize the sport’s respective sanctioning organizations with regard to multiple championships per weight class, fights that are for regional or international championships do play a considerable role in allowing fighters to elevate themselves into potential world title contention. In what has been an active month for the WBC’s Jr. Welterweight division, a victory for either fighter in this fight could very well lead to an opportunity at the WBC Jr. Welterweight world championship in the future. We will simply have to wait and see who will be able to take the next step forward in their career on Saturday night.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
The official weigh-in for the Danny O’Connor-Steve Claggett bout took place on Friday in Boston, MA. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.
Main Event: WBC International Silver Jr. Welterweight championship – 10Rds.
Danny O’Connor (Champion) 139lbs. vs. Steve Claggett (Challenger) 139lbs.
Jr. Featherweight – 8Rds.
Mike Oliver 121lbs. vs. TJ Doheny 122lbs.
Jr. Lightweight – 6Rds.
Nick Otieno 127 1/2lbs. vs. William Foster 129lbs.
*Other Bouts taking place on this card (Official Weights unavailable as of this writing.)
Jr. Middleweight – 10Rds.
Greg Vendetti vs. Engelberto Valenzuela
Welterweight – 6Rds.
Daniel Sostre vs. Yurik Mamedov
*Women’s Featherweight – 4Rds.
Sarah Click vs. Amanda Pavone
(Click will be making her pro debut on this card)
Lightweight – 6Rds.
Israel Rojas vs. Romain Tomas
St. Patrick’s Day Clash 3: O’Connor vs. Claggett takes place Tonight (Saturday, March 17th) at the House of Blues in Boston, MA. The card can be seen on pay-per-view on select cable and satellite providers in the United States as well as globally on Fite.TV and the Fite TV app beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT for $24.95. Preliminary bouts will air on Fite TV as well as the FightNightLive Facebook page beginning at 7PM ET/4PM PT. Contact your cable/satellite provider or visit www.fite.tv/watch/danny-oconnor-vs-steve-claggett/2nd5d for ordering information. For more information about Fite TV, the Fite TV app, available devices and how to cast content to your television please visit: www.fite.tv. For more information about FightNightLive please visit their official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE
In Canada, the card can also be seen on Super Channel beginning at 10PM ET/PT. For more information about Super Channel please visit: www.superchannel.ca.
St. Patrick’s Day Clash 3: O’Connor vs. Claggett promotional poster courtesy of: Fite TV. Used with permission.
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