Don’t make the mistake of writing Pierce O’Leary off as just a puncher. The unbeaten Irishman has been attracting an ever growing army of admirers with a series of spectacular, clinical knockouts but as much as he appreciates the praise, the unbeaten super lightweight insists there is much, much more to his game than pure power.

“Listen, I’ve got an absolutely amazing boxing I.Q and I’m very confident in my skills. I’m in front of you all the time. I like to press forward with head movement and as soon as they commit, I’m counter punching straight away,” O’Leary (12-0, 7 KO’s) told 32Red.

A reputation as a devastating puncher can be both a blessing and a curse. Fans, promoters and broadcasters love to see knockouts but it does make potential opponents - and in particular their handlers - wary about accepting a fight until the terms are impossible to turn down.

“Do you know what? I don’t pay attention to that. I just let my manager and my coach take care of all that,” O’Leary said. “My job is to put the hard graft in day in, day out and visualise the success. That’s what I’ve got to do and everything else is unto the team around me. You’ve gotta have great team around you because it takes stress off you.”

Kane Gardner (16-2, KO’s) jumped at the opportunity. The slick Mancunian has wanted the chance to prove himself at championship level for a long time and looks like presenting O’Leary with some new problems to solve. The Dubliner hasn’t spent too much time worrying about what Gardner will bring to the table, instead he is focused solely on improving himself and continuing his climb towards world level.

“He [Gardner] has had plenty of notice. He’s no pushover, he’s no journeyman. He’s experienced and a lot older. Listen, once I bring my A game to the table that’s all that matters. I know I’ve got to perform,” O’Leary said.

“Give me a name. I’ll just focus on myself. If I concentrate on him then I’m gonna bring a different strategy for myself. I’d rather just get in and be there and then in the moment. If you’re focused on the other fighter, he could bring a different gameplan. You just need to get in there, roll the dice and have most of your confidence from the hard work you’ve put in.”

“I want to get another fight in before Christmas. I need to be busy and I want to go for the European title. That’s the plan.”