October 13, 2016
Filed Under: NEWS & MEDIA
JOSH ‘DUBS’ O’REILLY IS TAKING THE FIGHT TO END CANCER PRO
Support Josh As He Takes On His 7th Professional Fight At The Hershey Centre In Support Of The Fight To End Cancer
United Promotions has been making way to promote professional boxing in Ontario since 2010. Josh O’Reilly, a Hamilton native, will be stepping into the ring for his seventh professional fight later next month. Though Josh is relatively new to the professional scene, he’s been fighting for over a decade, with a staggering 101 amateur fights under his belt.
A fighter remembers every time they step through the ropes, however there’s one fight in particular that stands out to Josh in his amateur career. In 2012 he fought in the inaugural Fight To End Cancer in Toronto, Canada. The gala event would be a family affair for the O’Reilly’s, as not only was Josh fighting that night, but his twin sister Kassandra would be Co-Main Event.
Josh took on an extremely powerful opponent that night, Mark Smither, whom he’d faced in previous battles. With the inspiration and guidance from his coach Bob Wilcox, he earned himself a gold medal win. In this case the win was secondary, as both he and his sister were dedicating this fight to their late grandfather. They were also dedicating the fight to their long time coach. In 1995, Bob’s 7-year-old son Robbie Wilcox, lost his life to brain cancer. Bob has devoted his life to fighting this terrible disease in honour of his son. This was an opportunity for Josh to support the man who has been in his corner since day one.
It’s been 5 years since Josh’s Fight To End Cancer, and he’s ready to take the fight to new heights. Josh has decided to donate a percentage of the purse from his next fight at the Hershey Centre on November 19, 2016!
We caught up with Josh to speak about how he felt about fighting in the inaugural Fight To End Cancer and how he has been enjoying life as pro boxer in Canada!
MEET JOSH O’REILLY
Tell us what was going through your mind, the first time you stepped out into the pro ring? Looking back on it now, what advice would you give yourself for that night?
I was mixed between nervous and extremely anxious, it was something I had seen myself doing for a long time, and it was finally time to get in there and do it. I had a lot of family and friends come out to watch even though it was in New Brunswick. If I could go back in time, I would just tell myself to relax, take my time, pick my shots better in that fight, and enjoy it all. Something I always dreamed about.
How was the transition from amateur to pro boxing? Was it something that caught you off guard?
The transition from amateur to pro, has been going well. I fought a few times as an amateur without a headgear, which definitely helped. They score the fights a bit different, and the fights are longer, but I am in very good shape. I am loving the pros. Nothing caught me off guard too much, the gloves are just much harder, so you have to be sharp on defense.
What is your most memorable moment as an amateur and as a pro boxer? Why?
As an amateur I have so many good memories from different tournaments and getting to travel. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the first FTEC show though, and it was definitely the coolest club show I ever got to be a part of. As a pro, my biggest memory so far was getting cut for the first time. It was a bad headbutt, and I was bleeding bad from my forehead all down my face. I couldn’t see out of my left eye for half the fight, I was happy that I was able to settle myself down and deal with some adversity so early into my career.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in terms of your pro boxing career?
I am taking this one fight at a time. I just got to keep beating the guy in front of me. But 5 years from now I will be 30 years old, I would like to be a part of big fights, make good money, and win some major titles.
Do you have someone who you look up to as role model or a mentor in your boxing career? Why?
There are definitely boxers I like to watch and take notes and watch how they do certain things. No one in particular that I look up to. There are some very talented guys in this area though, some of which I get to train with as team mates, and it always motivates me to continue to push, and work hard when I see my friends and team mates, and people from this area doing well.
Lets talk about FTEC, you were part of the inaugural Fight To End Cancer Gala event, what does it mean to you participating in such an event as this?
It was actually the coolest club show I got to be a part of. Jen Huggins and her team did an amazing job with everything. I met some very cool people who were trying to make a difference. It was so cool, most of these people had never even thrown a punch in their life before training for the show, but they were training hard, to have a boxing match and raise money for cancer. They got in there and did their thing, everybody won.
Was there someone you were fighting for that evening? What did they mean to you?
My sister and I were both fighting on that show, and we were both fighting for our grandfather. He had died of cancer a few years back, and we were very close. My grandpa used to box when he was younger, and he would always tell me old stories of his fights, he definitely planted a seed in my head to start boxing at a young age.
Now that the selection process is under way to choose the next FTEC Fight Team, what is some advice you would pass on to the chosen few that are selected for next years’ gala?
I would say to make sure you train hard, after all you’re getting yourself into a fight. But have fun with it, it is a really cool event, you’re going to meet a bunch of great people, and you will have loads of supporters there for you on the night. Just take it all in, enjoy the night, enjoy the process, do your best to raise money, and when you’re fighting keep your hands up.
We want to thank Josh for all the hard work he has does inside and outside the ring as he helps our team fight cancer! If you want to join Josh in fighting cancer and watch him go toe to toe in his next pro fight, please buy your tickets NOW! The Fight Team will be there cheering Josh in every round, so make sure to join us on November 19th!