On Saturday, November 16, North American lightweight champion Josh “Dubs” O’Reilly (15-0-0, 5KOs) of Hamilton, Ontario, makes his second defense of the NABA title, taking on provincial rival Mohammed Abedeen (10-1-1, 3KOs) of North York in a ten-round contest at the CAA Centre in Brampton, Ontario.
Presented by United Boxing Promotions, the card also boasts three other ten rounders, featuring world title challenger Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (20-2-0, 13KOs), Canadian champion Ryan Young (13-4-0, 10KOs), and undefeated Ajax standout Sukhdeep Singh (6-0-0, 2KOs).
Although O’Reilly shows much respect for Abedeen, he believes the North York prospect is taking on too much, too soon. “As a person, I think he’s doing great things for the community and tries to give back where he can,” said O’Reilly. “As a boxer, I think he’s a tough guy. He’s got heart and balls. He’ll get to show that, but there will be a skill gap between us. And it will be evident.”
For O’Reilly, there’s also a personal score to settle. Unlike many of his previous foes, the champion knows Abedeen quite well. The two men fought side-by-side in amateur ranks, but O’Reilly has been waiting for this opportunity to face Abedeen in the ring for years.
“We traveled together on a trip once to Wales for boxing,” said O’Reilly. “I was 15, I believe he was 18. Near the end of the trip I remember him trying to get me going, not to fight or anything, just messing with me because I was one of the younger kids. I told one of the Wilcox boys that I was going to knock him out one day. He was a bigger, older kid at that point. It didn’t seem likely then, but now, on November 16, it’s going to happen.”
Abedeen was caught somewhat off guard by O’Reilly’s comment. “Honestly I don’t remember the incident that he mentioned, so I cant speak on it,” said Abedeen. “I remember it being a pleasure to compete alongside him. This fight will be two great fighters going to war and the fans will see heart and skill on full display. Whatever happens, I know it will be an incredible night of boxing.”
A fight between O’Reilly and Abedeen has been tantalizingly close to fruition for months. “We teased the possibility on the GR8 Fight North podcast a while back and it was well received,” explained Tyler Buxton of United Boxing Promotions. “Our regular fans will get to see two top lightweights, who they’ve watched develop at our shows, battle it out for the North American crown. Mo has wanted this fight for a while. O’Reilly is the man in our company right now at lightweight. Abedeen wants that spot.”
The card is rounded out by several blue-chip prospects, including cruiserweight power-puncher Brock Stumpf (2-0-0, 2KOs) in a six rounder with Fabian Alberto Salcedo (3-3-0) of Argentina; national middleweight contender Mponda Kalunga (6-2-0, 3KOs) of Toronto against undefeated Curve Lake hopeful Jordan McCue (3-0-0, 1KOs); and slick Barrie technician Mark Smither (2-0-0) for six rounds or less with an opponent TBA.
Tickets are available now via www.ticketmaster.ca and the CAA Centre box office.