‘Boxing has helped me in my career’ – Lyon’s Jake O’Brien reveals passion for the ring

Jake O’Brien (22) has quickly made a name for himself in Ligue 1 since moving to Olympique Lyonnais from Crystal Palace in the summer. 

The Irish centre-back had never managed to break into the team in the London club, loans out to Swindon Town and Molenbeek had shown promise but not enough for the defender to make it into the Premier League side. 

At Lyon, he has become an integral part of a side that has experienced every possible emotion this season, as they have grown from relegation frontrunners to a team in the Coupe de France final and on the cusp of European qualification. 

Despite the tumultuous nature of the club he moved to, his performances have been a consistent bright spark throughout the strange season, as he has embodied a fighting spirit within the side, a player in more ways than one who is ready to roll with the punches. 

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Jake O’Brien’s love for boxing

Speaking to Amazon Prime, O’Brien has detailed a childhood split between a passion for boxing and a sport that he has now made a career out of. The defender found a love for boxing growing up in Cork and became a national champion as a child. 

It helped me a lot in football, but I found myself enjoying playing football a lot more,” O’Brien explains, and for Lyon, it was the perfect decision and one that they will hope put them on the path to ending an 11-year wait for silverware when they play Paris Saint-Germain next month.  

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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