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‘They want to see two fellas go at it’

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018 5:09pm

A Cork boxer is preparing for a battle in June for the vacant BUI Celtic super bantamweight title.

Colin O'Donovan, fresh from his contender for Irish fight of the year with Stephen McAfee in March, is back on 16 June at the Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh, Dublin, where he will face Carl McDonald in the headline fight of the Celtic Clash 6 card.

Edged out on the narrowest of split-decisions for the BUI Celtic super featherweight title by McAfee - a fight which was a rematch of their drawn 2017 encounter, another epic fight - O'Donovan is now moving down two full weight classes and predicts things will be a little bit different.

Having had his brother Michael helping out in the corner previously, O'Donovan will now be boosted by the addition of a specialist boxing coach Lee Cairns who is joining the team and refining the raw talent and heart of the Youghal-based fighter.

O'Donovan explained: “I don't want to give away my game plan entirely but I'm training with a proper boxing coach now and he has a game plan. He wants me to make sure that I do the game plan and impose myself on him and make sure that every single round is won and that there isn't doubt in anyone's mind that I won. I'm not looking for the KO, just to go in there and dominate every minute of every round.

“My brother is a professional Muay Thai fighter; we're just fighters, really, through and through, he's not really of a boxing background, it was more about just getting in and having a fight. The boxing coach I'm working with now has got the tactics and is making sure that every single thing I do in the gym is going to play a part on the night.”

The move down in weight, from 130lbs to 122lbs, also looks to be another benefit for The Rebel Rouser who said: “I was meant to be campaigning at super bantamweight from the beginning but opportunities kept coming. I'll fight at any weight. Super bantamweight, it's the weight I have to be most disciplined for, I have to make sure that I'm eating right. For the last few weights, I didn't have to worry too much about my diet. Height-wise, I'm not too much bigger than him (McDonald) but in terms of muscle development I'm a different kettle of fish to him altogether.”

Both fighters are under the Boxing Ireland Promotions banner, and O'Donovan is quite familiar with his upcoming foe. It's a bit different too than his most recent title clash which saw McAfee and O'Donovan engage in some pre-fight back-and-forths throughout the build-up. In Tallaght's McDonald, however, he is presented with a fearless opponent who he can see a lot of himself in.

28 year old O'Donovan outlined: “I've sparred Carl, I remember everything about it. We did six rounds, it was good craic, there was a small bit of back and forth, I was able to mess around, I was able to have a bit of fun. I respect him, I respect his trainers, they're good people.

“He's a lot like myself, he's in the fight game to fight, he's willing to take opportunities at the drop of a hat. He took a fight in England at two days notice, that's the sort of stuff you have to respect. He's not like some lads who pick and choose; he's willing to fight anybody and everybody and I've nothing but respect for the man. I can't wait to get in there and have a good fight and then definitely we'll be shaking hands afterwards,” added the fighter who took his defeat to McAfee with good grace and was straight back in the gym afterwards preparing for his next bout.

“All boxing should be like that," he noted. "It should be for the fans, the fans want to see a good fight, they want to see two fellas go at it and give it their all. Not a lot of people want to see you beat up on a journeyman.

“They want to see people eager to get the win, willing to give it their all and that's what I show every time I go in there.”

Tickets for the fight night are priced at €55 (ringside), €35 (unreserved) and are available from the boxers involved. Colin O'Donovan can be contacted at 085-8387890.

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