O’Meara determined to bounce back at Wembley Arena

PUBLISHED: 17:58 17 April 2013 | UPDATED: 17:58 17 April 2013

Steve O'Meara (right) vs Liam Smith

Steve O'Meara (right) vs Liam Smith


Steve O’Meara is determined to show his true capability when he boxes for the first time since his failed challenge for the Commonwealth light-middleweight title in December.

O’Meara, who lost an overwhelming points decision to Liam Smith four months ago, is back is in the ring this weekend at Wembley Arena, when he takes on ‘Croydon Bomber’ Chas Symonds.

The former Dale Youth ABC star hit the canvas after clashing heads with Smith at the end of the first round at ExCel Arena and, despite managing to last the distance, he never looked his usual self.

“It was a weird feeling,” O’Meara told the Times. “I didn’t remember much, I didn’t even remember going down or realise it had been scored as a 10-8 round.

“All of a sudden it dawned on me and I was very wary and unsure of what was going on. Everything [trainer] Jim [McDonnell] was telling me to do, I was doing the complete opposite.

“I felt I had to survive, but my strength felt drained, a lot of my senses were slowed and my distance in the ring wasn’t right – I was about 2cm off a lot of the time.

“I didn’t feel myself at all but it was still good experience getting the 12 rounds – in the long run it’s probably done me good and that was one of the positives.

“It was only my second fight of the year whereas it was Smith’s fifth. But no excuses, the better man won on the night and it obviously wasn’t meant to be.

“Now I need to get back in there and show people that wasn’t really me – it was an off night and there’s a lot more to me than that. I’d like to get a good win, and look good doing it as well.”

Symonds, who faces O’Meara on Saturday, brings a professional record of 17 wins and six losses to Wembley Arena and held the Southern Area welterweight title until he lost it to Bradley Skeete in December.

But, as long as he emerges victorious, O’Meara has another title bid in his sights – ideally a second clash with Smith, or a fight for the British belt that current holder Brian Rose is expected to vacate.

“Smith’s got a mandatory defence coming up, but after that I don’t see why we couldn’t do it again,” said the 29-year-old. “I’d like to push for a rematch and I’d be confident going in there next time.

“Also the British title is probably becoming vacant soon, so hopefully after one or two wins I could be one of those people that throws his name into the hat for that one.

“What happened in December has made me even hungrier – I know I belong at that level. Even if they offered me a fight for the English title next time I’d be interested.”

Although this is O’Meara’s 20th paid contest, it will be his first outing at Wembley Arena – he has been scheduled to box there more than once in the past, but those dates fell through for various reasons.

Now he features on Frank Warren’s ‘Rule Britannia’ bill that is headlined by Nathan Cleverly’s world light-middleweight title unification bout with Robin Krasniqi and also includes the return of controversial heavyweight Dereck Chisora.

“I’ll finally get into the venue and it’s nice to be part of a big card,” added O’Meara. “It should be non-stop boxing from about 4pm to midnight and hardcore boxing fans will definitely be getting value for their money.”

Unbeaten Wembley welterweight Gary Corcoran is also scheduled to box on the undercard in a six-round contest. For ticket information, call 0844 249 1000.

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