BOXING boff Iwan Evans (@IwanEvans19) returns with a big view on Saturday’s night bout between John O'Donnell and Shayne Singleton.
John O'Donnell v Shayne Singleton | Saturday 21.00
David Haye's long awaited ring return takes place this weekend at the 02 Arena in London, with comedy channel Dave being the ironic broadcast partner.
The two-weight world champion should have no problems in despatching Australian Mark de Mori, but it's the chief support on a weak undercard that takes my eye from a betting perspective.
Galway-born Londoner John O'Donnell (30-2, 11 KO's) takes on Lancashire's Shayne Singleton (21-1, 7 KO's) in a British welterweight title eliminator, in what's a pretty intriguing clash.
It's a long-coming chance for O'Donnell, who was meant to face Dale Evans in an eliminator at the end of last year but the Welshman landed a surprise opportunity at late notice to challenge champion Sam Eggington, after Frankie Gavin pulled out of their mooted all-Birmingham clash.
John had to make do with a six-rounder at the York Hall, a second straight victory since a near enough two-year absence out of the ring.
The Southpaw is a former Commonwealth welterweight champion and I think a break will have done him good as he had a tough fight with Stephen Haughian in December 2012, only narrowly winning an eight-round decision 77-76.
He seemingly had struggled in the aftermath of a British title defeat on points to Craig Watson in February 2011, ironically the man he beat to claim that already mentioned Commonwealth title in April 2009.
O'Donnell’s not a boxer I can see going much further than British level, to be honest. But he's still only 30-years-old and has gotten some good experience under his belt, beating decent American Terence Cauthen and the tough former English super welterweight challenger Martin Welsh.
Singleton is a guy with plenty of skill himself; he's very decent footwork and has earned a good reputation on the North West Boxing circuit.
Last year I saw him suffer a first career defeat however, as he stepped up to take on the aforementioned Eggington, who confirmed what many thought pre-fight – he was far too big for the Lancastrian. Shayne had a good first round but was pummelled in the next four and he was stopped in the fifth having been down twice in that round.
He bounced back on his return last month, stopping the tough Welshman Gary Copper in the final round of an eight-round contest but the big question is, how much confidence does he have left?
In this bout I think O'Donnell has far more experience and although Singleton had looked good before the Eggington fight, the level of opponent had been weak. His best win before that was in March 2013 as he narrowly beat Curtis Woodhouse on a split decision for the English super lightweight title – but it was controversial and many thought former pro footballer Woodhouse should have been the victor.
The interesting point about that clash was, is it was at a lower weight and the feeling I get is, Singleton is going to struggle to make a dent in O'Donnell.
O’Donnell started his career in August 2009 and weighed just over 138lbs, which isn’t too far above the lightweight limit. He’s been a career welterweight and has actually weighed in close to the super lightweight limit in his last few outings.
My odds for this fight had O'Donnell as the favourite; there's not a great deal in the contest but I think he has the size, strength, and experience to get the better of his opponent.
Singleton can box well and that's certainly his key to victory – he has to stay on the outside and frustrate O'Donnell. But I get the feeling John is a level above and to me surprise the bookies have him as a 6/5 underdog, which can be backed at Paddy Power.
John O'Donnell v Shayne Singleton – John O’Donnell to win (6/5 Paddy Power)
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