Monday, September 7, 2009

British Scene: O'Donnell Ends Glover's Upset Streak

Matt Chudley recaps Saturday's welterweight match-up between John O'Donnell and Tom Glover.

Photos © Justin McKie

Thoroughly out of his depth, Tom Glover was halted in the 6th round after taking heavy punishment from John O'Donnell and offering little in return this past Saturday at the Watford Coliseum.

Although scheduled as O'Donnell’s first defence of the Commonwealth title he claimed from Craig Watson, the belt was not at stake as the Commonwealth Boxing Council failed to rubber stamp the contest. Without the necessary formalities completed the fights still went ahead as a 12 rounder although a 1lb concession was made on the welterweight limit.

Giving up 5 inches in height and conceding significant speed and reach advantages it was clear that Glover was really up against it this time, but in his customary style, the plucky brick layer from Essex gamely tried to work his way inside. The man from West London was too sharp however, and took full advantage of his size and speed advantage, consistently employing the jab that had gone missing last time out against Craig Watson.

After a relatively patient first round O'Donnell began to find his range in the second, catching Glover with flashy combos and showing off his impressive hand-speed. Glover did have his moments in the opening rounds, connecting with a few right hands but with no stoppages to his credit and very limited power he failed to really gain O'Donnell’s respect.

It soon became an impossible task for Glover after his nose was broken during the second round. A sharp left uppercut from the Irish born southpaw that split the gloves seemed to do the damage. Reliant upon his stamina and gritty determination, Glover was no longer able to breathe through his nose and plodded forward with his mouth hanging open.

The blood began to flow steadily in the 3rd after O'Donnell targeted the broken nose with a onslaught of straight lefts and also began to set his feet more and put more into his punches.

O'Donnell seemed to take a breather in the 4th, possibly in an attempt to ensure he didn't punch himself out given Glover's durability and record of never having been stopped. Now masked in blood, the body shots and right hooks where still there for Glover but the more hurtful attacks where still coming from the Londoner.

The 5th and 6th rounds saw the fight continue to follow a predictable path, with Glover at the mercy of O'Donnell's speedy offense and not seeming able to worry O'Donnell in return. With Glover becoming more disorganised and his hands gradually coming down, Richie Davies took a strong interest in the 6th round, and compasionately called it off after a barrage of unanswered punches left Glover reeling on the ropes.

With the win, his 10th inside the distance, O’Donnell moves to 22-1 and will next face mandatory challenger Philip Kotey from Ghana, likely in December. Having sustained the broken nose, Glover's English title challenger planned for next month seems unlikely and he also expressed a desire to move down to light-welterweight.

On the under-card…

The main support saw Lee Purdy get revenge over Peter McDonagh following a decision loss back at the end of last year. While a reasonably entertaining fight it didn't quite reach the same heights as their previous encounter and a better versed Purdy proved too strong at welterweight, winning by a score of 98-94 on referee Jeff Hinds' card. McDonagh plans to head back down to his natural confines of 135-140.

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