Thursday, April 9, 2009

British Scene Weekend Preview

Matt Chudley previews this Saturday's Commonwealth Welterweight Title bout between Craig Watson and John O'Donnell.

Also on the card, making his 5th pro appearance will be big young heavyweight Tyson Fury (pictured).

Photo © Justin McKie

Saturday April 11

Craig Watson vs John O'Donnell (ITV4)

By Matt Chudley

Once again, the York Hall in Bethnel Green plays host to televised boxing, this time to a Hennessy Sports card headlined by Craig Watson's defense of his Commonwealth Welterweight title against John O'Donnell.

The fight marks the first return to serious action for the house fighter O'Donnell, since his American unveiling on the undercard of the De La Hoya-Mayweather mega-fight almost two years ago. Through his connections with Golden Boy, promoter Mick Hennessy managed to gain undercard slots for his two brightest prospects, O’Donnell and lightweight John Murray. The publicity tour, which included sparring with Shane Mosley, took a disastrous turn when O'Donnell was stopped in two by Mexican journeyman Christian Solano.

Watson, who achieved some notoriety for dropping Amir Khan in the amateurs, upset the odds to capture the Commonwealth belt from the highly regarded Ali Nuumbembe in December of 2007. He subsequently defended the belt against Matthew Hatton, although between those fights, suffered a TKO defeat at the hands of Italian Danielle Petrucci on a short notice trip to the continent.

With both fighters being tall southpaws who lack power, the fighter with the superior boxing skills and conditioning will likely prevail in a distance fight. For me, that’s Craig Watson, but many (including the bookmakers) feel this fight could go either way. I think those picks might be slightly influenced by the previous hype surrounding O’Donnell and the faith of his promoter in making this fight. We’ll find out on Saturday night.

The undercard...

The televised undercard features the most talked about novice fighter in the UK in the shape of young Tyson Fury. The twenty year old has been extremely active since turning pro, having fought 4 times in 4 months, stopping all of his opponents including the 21-3 Marcell Zeller in only his second fight.

The talkative youngster, claiming to be the future of the division, has been dishing insults at fellow heavyweight hopeful David Price. Price opened up his professional ledger a couple weeks ago with a victory on the undercard of the Dodson-Quigley show, and Saturday night will be Fury's turn to make the next statement. Later this month, he'll be flying out to the states to fight on the Carl Froch – Jermain Taylor undercard

Also in action is Lenny Daws, who will be looking to get back into British title contention by beating Pete McDonagh in a ten rounder for the English light-welterweight title.

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