The defeat forced the young County Wicklow-raised lightweight to return to his Seattle home and regroup.
Two victories later, O’Malley returns to national TV and contender status when he meets seasoned Mexican Yoni Vargas in a scheduled 10-round contest at the historic Regent Wall Street Hotel in Lower Manhattan this Sunday.
The afternoon “Black Tie” boxing show, which also features a three-course meal, is presented by Gallagher Productions and will be broadcast by ESPN.
O’Malley, who’s 26, has spent the last two weeks training at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn for what he expects to be another defining fight in his quest for a world championship.
“A win will definitely put me back in contention for the world title. I have only one loss and it’s against the guy who’s now world champion,” he said last Sunday.
O’Malley, 19-1 (14 KOs), is coming off a 10-round points win over Texan Jesse Gutierrez in Washington State last June. It was his second bout since the loss to Dorin, now the WBO titlist, last year. He’d earlier defeated Rudolfo Lunsford over eight rounds last March.
In Vargas, he faces a familiar foe with strong credentials.
“I knew him in the amateurs,” O’Malley said. “He’s a good, very credible opponent who always comes forward. Typical Mexican.”
Vargas was the Mexican featherweight champion when O’Malley, then a bantamweight with two years’ amateur experience, first met him in 1994.
Said Tommy Gallagher, the fight impresario and veteran New York cornerman who’s been working with O’Malley at Gleason’s: “I know everything about Vargas. He’s a tough fighter. It will be a real good competitive fight, but with the tools Martin’s got he will take care of him.”
O’Malley is equally confident. He said he feels that he’s a better fighter now after the loss to Dorin and is in great shape after a good build up to Sunday’s contest.
“I believe that the defeat to Dorin was a definite eye opener,” he said. “I’ve got more knowledge and experience now and my training for this fight has been good,” he said.
Vivian Harris, the Guyanese-born junior welterweight who challenges Diosbelys “El Kid Santiago” Hurtado on Oct. 19 for the World Boxing Association crown, has provided O’Malley with excellent sparring at Gleason’s, leaving the young Irish-American confident of his conditioning.
That O’Malley made the 135-pound lightweight limit more than a week before the match suggests that he’s in peak form, and as sure as he is of victory, he doesn’t care how it comes.
“Under the right circumstances I’ll stop anybody. But after going the distance in my last two contests I’m ready to go the distance again,” he remarked.
The O’Malley-Vargas bout will be the co-feature to 17-0 (15 KOs) junior middleweight sensation Tokunbo Olajide’s 10-round non-title clash with Nicholas Cervera (34-3, 31 KOs).
Tickets for the boxing and three-course dining experience are priced at $200. Call (718) 845-0859 for information.