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O'Donnell moving in for the Kell

PUBLISHED: 16:01 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:51 24 August 2010

John O'Donnell (black shorts) defeats Tom Glover in a Welterweight Boxing contest at Watford Colosseum, promoted by Hennessy Sports - 05/09/09 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Chris Royle/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - Tel: 0845 094 6026

John O'Donnell (black shorts) defeats Tom Glover in a Welterweight Boxing contest at Watford Colosseum, promoted by Hennessy Sports - 05/09/09 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Chris Royle/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - Tel: 0845 094 6026

Chris Royle/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

By Ben Kosky JOHN O Donnell has vowed to claim the British welterweight title this year – and predicts 2010 could also bring success for his former amateur colleagues. The 24-year-old Commonwealth champion from Shepherd s Bush is first in line to take on

By Ben Kosky

JOHN O'Donnell has vowed to claim the British welterweight title this year - and predicts 2010 could also bring success for his former amateur colleagues.

The 24-year-old Commonwealth champion from Shepherd's Bush is first in line to take on unbeaten British title holder Kell Brook, who faces Krzysztof Bienias of Poland at Wembley Arena next month.

O'Donnell's first task will be his postponed Commonwealth title defence against Phillip Kotey of Ghana, now expected to take place in March, but Brook's belt is his long-term target.

"I'm the mandatory challenger now and I really want that British title," O'Donnell told the Times. "I've been waiting for my shot for a long time and I can promise I'd be 100 per cent prepared.

"It'd be brilliant to win it and to hold both belts at the same time would be a dream come true. They're both prestigious - the only difference is that growing up in England, the British title is all you hear about.

"But I'll leave it to my promoter Mick Hennessey and, if he can sort it out as soon as possible, brilliant. For the moment I'll be back in the gym and getting on with things.

"I was meant to be boxing Kotey in December, but a few things got in the way and the show was cancelled, which was frustrating. But it's been put back to March and hopefully it'll be in London."

While O'Donnell prepares to make his second Commonwealth defence against the Ghanaian, several of his former stablemates from Dale Youth ABC are also back in the ring during the coming weeks.

Unbeaten light-middleweight Steve O'Meara is lined up to meet exciting north London prospect Yassine El Maachi on Friday February 12 at York Hall.

Olympic champion James DeGale returns to his native Brent at Wembley Arena the following night, while his one-time ABA rival George Groves is in action at Brentwood Leisure Centre later this month.

Like many boxing fans, O'Donnell is relishing the potential of what seems an inevitable match-up between the super-middleweight pair, who have not met since their amateur days.

"As well as myself and Steve O'Meara, you've got Grovesy and Chunky [DeGale] and it'd be nice to see the two of them get it on towards the end of the year or maybe next year," added O'Donnell.

"That'd be worth waiting for. I think you could say there's been a rivalry and a fair amount of bitching between them since they were amateurs so, if it happens, it's going to be a big one.

"I think George is just going to get there first in terms of pushing for a title, but I don't think the rest will be far behind. For all those who have come through with Dale Youth, 2010 promises to be a big year.


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