Barry tips O’Donnell

10 April 2009 – Press Release

Former World Featherweight champ Barry McGuigan is tipping John ODonnell to take the Commonwealth welterweight title from Craig Watson in London tomorrow night.

McGuigan will be providing expert analysis from ringside for the eagerly anticipated clash which is live on ITV4 from 7.45pm. ODonnell v Watson headlines a Hennessy Sports event at the York Hall, Bethnal Green with Lenny Daws and Peter McDonagh contesting the English light-welterweight title on an undercard which also features heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury.

McGuigan admits that picking a winner in the main event is not an easy decision as he has been very impressed with both champion and challenger. Speaking to the Irishman said, I think this is a great fight. It’s a really lively clash between two fellows who are very determined.

Watson is pretty durable, hes a stiff hitter. A very capable southpaw who of course famously dropped Amir Khan when he fought him in the amateurs and it was a legitimate knockdown because he had Khan’s legs doing a bit of a jig in that fight. More recently of course he beat Matthew Hatton and did so very convincingly.

O’Donnell is a beautiful technician who by all accounts used to give Khan nightmares when they used to spar on international duty. He was all over him back then apparently so that shows you just how talented this fella is. He has quick hands, moves well and has plenty of ring intelligence.

McGuigan is predicting an exciting fight that will go into the later rounds. Like most people I see this as a long fight. It will be about how executes their game plan best on the night. O’Donnell will be trying to use those quick hands of his, putting his punches together in clusters while it will be more singular punches from Watson I would imagine.

I think it could turn into a really exciting battle. It looks like a distance fight but there isn’t much in it and I wouldn’t totally rule out either of these boys pulling out a stoppage win.

While he envisages a close fight McGuigan is picking ODonnell to emerge with the title. If O’Donnell boxes like we know he can and crucially has respect for Watson then I can see him winning this. He has to be prepared for a long hard battle because Watson is a southpaw and he is awkward and it will take time to break him down.

If he gets the distance right and boxes at a high tempo he can win this. That said I only make it a 55-45 fight in O’Donnell’s favour however and it’s a difficult fight to call with any degree of certainty given both men have been stopped in the past and both are so well matched.

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