Craig Watson is determined to make boxing fans sit up and take notice by knocking out John O’Donnell when they contest the Commonwealth Welterweight title in London next month.
The two clash in front of the ITV4 cameras on a Hennessy Sports show at the York Hall on April 11 and Watson is forecasting an early night.
Despite winning the Commonwealth title in 2007, Watson remains best known to many boxing fans for dumping Amir Khan on the canvas in the amateurs but he’s determined to add another stoppage win to his highlight reel next month against O’Donnell.
“I feel I’m still a little bit under the radar and I’m definitely an underrated fighter,” said the 26-year-old. “This is a good chance for me to prove just how good I am with a big fight live on TV. O’Donnell’s a very good boxer, but he hasn’t been in with anyone like me and I honestly believe I’ll walk right through him.
“I’m feeling as strong as an ox, I’m throwing 400 punches a round in training and I think I’m going to outwork him, out muscle him and stop him early on. I’ve watched him and he’s got good hand speed, but he’s not very strong and that’s my department.
“I’ve been working on applying controlled pressure and I don’t think he’ll be able to withstand that. I’ve beaten decent fighters like Ali Nuumbembe, Michael Lomax and Matthew Hatton but he hasn’t really beaten anyone yet.”
Watson’s career has been stop start of late with a number of recent fights falling through. However despite having not fought since a comprehensive win over Matthew Hatton last May, he doesn’t believe ring rust will be an issue.
“Being out of the ring for almost a year isn’t ideal obviously but I’ve had very good sparring for this one so my timing feels spot on right now. It’s been a frustrating time for me with fights falling through. I’ve had bad news after bad news but I’m raring to go for this one. I’ve trained like a demon for it and I’m just itching to get in there now.
The all southpaw battle will have fight fans split down the middle in what on paper looks to be a real 50 – 50 affair but Watson says he has no problems fighting a fellow “lefty”.
“Michael Lomax is a tall southpaw just like O’Donnell and I beat him easy. I bashed him up over eight rounds and he went on to win Prizefighter after that. I was really just a light welterweight back then but I’ve matured and grown into the weight now and feel a whole lot stronger now. This is a real chance for me to shine and take my career to the next level.
Watson vs. O’Donnell headlines a fantastic line-up of championship boxing at the legendary York Hall in Bethnal Green. In the chief support bout Lenny Daws meets Peter McDonagh for the English Light Welterweight title while Steve O’Meara and hot prospect, Bradley Evans also feature on the undercard. Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.