No limits for hungry O’Hara
Like a mountaineer seeking to scale the highest peak, Kevin O'Hara has found himself slipping short of the summit on too many occasions.
Tomorrow night the 28-year-old is adamant he will be a man without limits, prepared to find hidden depths of desire in order to claim the British super-featherweight title at the Huddersfield Leisure Centre.
To make his championship dream come true, O'Hara has spent weekends pounding Slieve Gullion in addition to his normal roadwork, building his legs for a long night against champion Gary Sykes.
Previous title defeats to Willie Limond (Celtic), Eddie Hyland (Irish) and Ricky Burns (Commonwealth) are consigned to the history books as he focuses on Sykes and joining featherweight friend and former Immaculata clubmate Martin Lindsay as a British champion.
“I have to win this title, it's as simple as that and I've prepared like never before and most importantly I'm mentally pumped for this,” said O'Hara, whose points defeat to Burns last summer was controversial to say the least.
“For the Burns fight I only did the Slieve Gullion run once and I had to be dragged down to do it by a friend Mickey Hughes but this time I've been down a lot more and I'm feeling the benefit of it and John (Breen) has been working me very hard in the gym.
“I've had a tough career but that is the past, all I'm focused on is the future and what that can bring. I have a wee boy Lewis and it will mean everything to me when I bring him back the belt.
“Sykes is a good champion, he throws lots of punches so I know that I'm going to have to match his workrate and I will. I'm going to do more than that, I'm going to break his heart with the intensity I will bring to the fight.”
O’Hara can expect plenty of fire to come his way as Skyes came through a tough duel with Andy Morris to claim the belt in March.
The Belfast man, though, believes that he has learned from the performance of Morris and intends to put that into action.
“Morris was able to catch him with a lot of good shots but he doesn’t have the power that I have,” he said. “It was a very close fight that could have gone either way and watching it has given me a lot of confidence because I know I can box better than Morris.
“My career has had ups and downs and there have been times when it was hard to get motivated. When you’re just getting two or three grand for a fight it’s tough and really I don’t know how some guys are able to keep going without having a job.
“I’ve suffered from periods of inactivity but now this is my time, it’s my big chance to become a champion and take my career to a new level.”
A bricklayer by trade, O’Hara enjoyed the boom time and the famine. Maybe now, in contrast, he is about to grab hold of a new golden time in the ring.