Category: Archive

Big puncher next up for O’Malley

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The winner of four straight fights since a late TKO loss to Leo Dorin nearly two years ago, O’Malley believes that Villalta is not in the same class as Dorin, who now holds the World Boxing Association championship.
He is, nonetheless, still wary of his Peruvian-born foe’s reputed power and knows that he can’t afford to underestimate Villalta, who fights out of Hillsborough, N.J.
“He’s a good puncher and has 25 KOs from 29 wins. He’s definitely a quality opponent,” said O’Malley, a Washington State native who grew up in County Wicklow.
In contrast to Villalta’s phenomenal knockout record, O’Malley, who turned 28 on July 7 and is five years younger than his opponent, has 14 stoppages on his 21-1 ledger.
He, however, believes that he’s ready for this his first professional title challenge and fancies his chances.
“I’ve had 22 pro fights. I think I’ve been eligible to have a fight like this for a while,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting the belt.”
O’Malley has been training for the scheduled 10-round contest, which will be held at the Emerald Queen Casino and will be televised on Direct TV, under the tutelage of his father, Martin, Sr., and Rick Burns, in sweltering Phoenix.
“I’m in excellent condition and I’m confident that I’m going to go in and apply pressure on him and not let up,” said O’Malley.
Key to his strategy, nonetheless, will be to avoid Villalta’s big punches.”
“He’s heavy-handed and I wouldn’t want to stand in front of him and trade punches. I plan on being elusive with a lot of movement,” he said.
With a top 10 world ranking up for grabs as an added bonus for the winner, it’s a crossroads fight for both fighters — more so for Villalta, whose last victory, a fourth-round KO of Jose Luis Soto-Karass two months ago, ended a run of three defeats.
O’Malley, on the other hand, posted a lopsided points winner over Julian Romero in his last bout at the same time. A resident of Edmonds, Wash., and Phoenix, he is undefeated in nine pro bouts in his native state.
Villalta is reported to have had 150 amateur fights in Peru, where he had his first 27 professional contests. He was out of the ring for two and a half years before making a comeback in November 2001. The South American is 3-3-1 since.

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