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UK News: John O'Donnell; Bellew-McIntosh; R. Towers

London - After a year away from the sport, Irishman John O’Donnell will be making his comeback on the undercard of the Hennessy Sports promoted event at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday 14th April.

Headlining the event titled “Unfinished Business” will be Tyson Fury vs. Martin Rogan, the Titanic Heavyweight battle will be broadcast live on Channel 5.

The 26 year old who resides in Shepherd’s Bush London, has not boxed since his British title challenge in February 2011, but he has now teamed up with trainers Jimmy and Mark Tibbs at the TKO gym in Canning Town.

Former Commonwealth champion said “It’s been a long frustrating year out of the sport but working with Jimmy and Mark Tibbs has given me my appetite back. From the first day I walked in to the gym I knew that it was right for me and I was going to start enjoying training again.

“I’ve also been working with a strength and conditioning coach for the last few months to help build up my fitness and manage my weight. Barry O’Connell from State of Mind Fitness has been putting me through my paces and is now an integral part of the team, it seems to all be coming together at long last. 

“I’m just really looking forward to the 14th April, I believe with the team of people around me I can now start to show my potential and look to the future and start challenging for titles again, but this time at my correct weight, light middleweight.” Added John.

Joining Tyson Fury, Martin Rogan and John O’Donnell will be middleweight sensation Chris Eubank Jr from Brighton, Belfast fighters Jamie Conlan, Darren Corbett, Dee Walsh, Tommy Tolan, Ciaran Healy, Marc Mccullough, Conall Carmichael, Moses Matovu, County Mayo’s Michael Sweeney and Matthew Barney from Southampton.

Follow John O'Donnell on twitter @Jodonnell_boxer

MERSEY FOOTBALL STAR EXPECTING "CLASSIC" IN ECHO ARENA SHOWDOWN

by Chris Walker

With the business end of the football season rapidly approaching, Tranmere Rovers captain, John Welsh, is immensely prepared for the relegation dogfight that awaits his beloved Rovers. But on April 14th, only hours after hopefully securing three points for the Wirral side away at Walsall, the former Liverpool midfielder will shift his focus to the boxing ring as he donates his support to long-time friend, Tony Bellew, who defends his British light-heavyweight title against Norwich’s Danny Macintosh at the fabulous Liverpool Echo Arena.

“I’ve known Tony ever since we were kids as we were both from the same area and I’m not surprised one bit how far he’s gone because he’s a really dedicated lad,” revealed the former England Under-21 star. Even if I didn’t know him, I’d still watch his fights because every time he gets in the ring you’re guaranteed fireworks because of the way he fights. Macintosh has a similar attitude and also loves a good fight so I think fans can be certain that they’re going to be watching a classic when the punching finally starts.”

A passionate fan of both boxing, Welsh possesses an admirable knowledge regarding the fight game and he is an avid supporter of the local punch scene.

With a sizeable undercard featuring members of the Liverpool boxing community such as John Watson, Joe Tonks, and Andy Colqhoun, Welsh firmly believes that Merseyside has the talent and potential to add further honours to its illustrious sporting history.

“I’ve watched boxing since a young age and I remember being excited when Derry Mathews turned over.

That was a good time but the crop that are coming through now are just as good and they now have the advantage of having the Echo Arena, which is essential if Liverpool is to produce the big boxing night’s that Manchester enjoyed during the Ricky Hatton days. The Arena’s already had a few good fights with Tony Quigley and Tony Dodson having a real battle and Tony falling just short against Nathan Cleverly last time out.

These really are good times to be involved in boxing on Liverpool.

With the aforementioned Cleverly fight now a distant memory, Welsh believes that Bellew is ready to begin a new chapter in the eventful story that will ultimately culminate in world title glory for the hard-hitting Evertonian. “Tony was extremely unlucky last time out but believe me he’s ready to prove he’s world class over and over again. I’m sure he’ll get his chance to put that fight right but at this time his mind is on Danny Macintosh and rightly so. Both fighters are going to have their moments but Bellew will be the stronger man.

This has all the makings to be one of the fights of 2012 and fans turning up at the Echo Arena will not be disappointed.”

David Coldwell in association with Eddie Hearn present ‘The Big Bang’ which is live and exclusive on Sky Sports HD on Saturday, 14th April.

TOWERS TO SHOW HE IS FOR REAL

HATTON Promotions heavyweight hope Richard Towers will face tough American Harold Sconiers this weekend.

Their eight rounder is on the undercard when Gary Buckland risks his British super-featherweight title against Paul Truscott at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on Saturday (March 24).

Towers has won all 12 professional contests in style, but his Florida rival will provide a proper test despite an 18-23-2 record.

Sconiers, 35, caused a major upset last month when he outpointed three-time world heavyweight title challenger Jameel McCline.

Back in 2010 he floored one of the heavyweight division’s hottest prospects Deontay Wilder before losing.

Towers promoter Ricky Hatton said: “Sconiers is a solid heavyweight who comes to win. Fans will see a good fight.

“He is always in shape and it is a fight that will how Richard is progressing under the Ingle family.

“I had hoped Richard would be fighting for his first major title on the bill, but he picked up a virus a few weeks ago and we decided to give him an eight rounder.

“If Richard impresses us all against Sconiers his first title and fights against Tyson Fury and David Price will be just around the corner.”

Sky Sports will be televising the card live and other fights  include Patrick Mendy v Bradley Pryce  Sergey Rabchenko v Ronny Gabel, Adam Etches v Stilian Kostov, Scott Jenkins v Adrian Fusezi,  Mitch Buckland v  Francis Maina.  Carl Bell, Jason Cunningham and Jack Perry face selected opponents

Boxing starts at 6.15pm and the remaining few tickets are priced at £35 general admission, £55 floor seating, £75 ringside and £100 VIP Ringside. You can buy by calling The Hatton Box Office 01925 755 222, Ticketmaster 0844 847 2500, Ticketline 0844 888 9991, any boxer on the bill or online www.hattonboxing.com

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