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O'Donnell's ready to rumble

PUBLISHED: 12:49 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 16:09 23 July 2010

By Ziad Chaudry JOHN O Donnell should go into this Saturday s British welterweight title eliminator with Young Mutley in Nottingham better prepared than ever. The 23-year-old silky southpaw from Hammersmith spent last month working intensively alongside h

By Ziad Chaudry

JOHN O'Donnell should go into this Saturday's British welterweight title eliminator with Young Mutley in Nottingham better prepared than ever.

The 23-year-old silky southpaw from Hammersmith spent last month working intensively alongside his trainer Rob McCracken and Saturday's bill topper Carl Froch in the quiet surroundings of Breaffy House Resort, Ireland.

Stablemate and light-middleweight Steve O'Meara, who is back in action himself next weekend at Brentwood, was also involved in O'Donnell's preparations and believes the Hammersmith man will triumph.

"Training has been going brilliantly with John," said O'Meara. "I've been sparring with him in the gym and he's looking good. He's such a brilliant fighter and I'm sure he'll do the business."

What is certain is that Lee Woodley, otherwise known by the boxing establishment as Young Mutley, will provide a much sterner test than Suleyman Dag - easily halted by O'Donnell three weeks ago.

The 32-year-old from West Bromwich has won 25 of his 28 outings and will be aiming to regain the British welterweight title which he lost to Kevin Anderson 18 months ago.

Despite failing to snatch the British light-welterweight mantle off Colin Lynes in July, Mutley has since won three on the bounce, including a six-round shut-out against Latvian Sergejs Savrinovics - an opponent O'Donnell stopped in four two months ago at Norwich.

O'Donnell feels he has become a much stronger fighter since undergoing surgery on an ear problem that contributed to his only loss in 20 bouts, against Mexico's Christian Solano in May 2007.

"I've had five fights since losing in America and I've got my confidence back, definitely," said O'Donnell. "A few things weren't right, but I've learned from it.

"We decided it was best to keep me busy and after a few fights I began to feel better and stronger. My defence is a lot better now and I'm more confident.

"I've just spent over a month training in Ireland, which has helped keep my mind on the job. That wasn't the case in America, where being away from home did me.

"Mutley has been up and down a bit in recent years, but I think he's there for the taking. He is obviously far stronger at welterweight, where he won his British title."

KILBURN light welter-weight Ashley Theophane is back in London on the same night, taking on Mansfield-based Latvian Alex Spitko at York Hall.

Theophane had been due to face former world champion Zab Judah in New York last month, but the bout fell through.

He returns to his home city for the first time since beating Geoffrey Munika at the same venue in June.

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