Former North American Champ O’Reilly Retires


Josh O’Reilly and promoter Tyler Buxton following the former’s win in Barrie last July. (Jeff Lockhart photo)

      | Dec. 6, 2023

HAMILTON — Former North American and Intercontinental Champion lightweight Josh O’Reilly has announced his retirement from professional boxing.

O’Reilly, 32, retires from the sport with an outstanding 18-1 record and seven knockouts; he leaves Ontario boxing fans with a treasure trove of memories in the process.

“I’ve had loads of people come out and support me, and I always felt it — it was always loud when I was in the ring,” reflected O’Reilly, a Hamilton, Ont. product who fought out of Steeltown Boxing Club. “I was a hard-working kid who was never incredibly talented or blessed, but through effort, consistency and the right guidance from my management team I achieved my goals in boxing.”

Nicknamed ‘Dubs’, he made his professional debut in 2014 and first appeared in an Ontario ring on a United card the following year.

“I loved boxing, loved the process,” stated the former world-level lightweight contender. “I wish I could continue, but my body isn’t reacting the same way it used to so it’s time to leave.”

O’Reilly was a member of United’s roster for the entirety of his decade-long career, during which time he won and successfully defended both the IBA Intercontinental Lightweight and NABA Lightweight titles.

Josh O’Reilly and team, including promoter Tyler Buxton, celebrate an IBA Championship victory. (Mette Nielsen photo)

“It was truly an honour working with Josh throughout his career, and he gave boxing fans so many memorable nights,” said United president Tyler Buxton. “Loyalty and honesty are two words that come to mind — and I’m proud of what we accomplished together.

“He retires as one of the best Ontario lightweights of the decade, and should be extremely proud of his career.”

On behalf of boxing fans across the province, United Boxing Promotions wishes him health, happiness and fulfillment in retirement.

Dubs by the Numbers

O’Reilly was ranked in the WBA’s World Top 10, climbing as high as #7 at various points between 2019 and 2021…He became a fan favourite at the Hershey Centre, where he fought nine times and won his IBA belt…The final fight of his career was a confident unanimous decision win this past July over Alexis De La Cruz in Barrie, Ont.