Evans eager to end O’Donnell’s disrespect in title eliminator
St Clears’ Dale Evans (10-2-2, 3KO) is eager to put his next opponent in his place after domestic rival John O’Donnell (29-2, 11KO) recently launched a Twitter tirade.
The welterweights are due to meet in a British title eliminator on 7 November at London’s York Hall and the fight has been preheated by O’Donnell’s ‘winner takes all’ purse proposal, which unsurprisingly didn’t materialise, and claim that Evans is a “bottle-job”.
Evans said: “That sort of thing is not for me. He was slating Sam Eggington [British and Commonwealth champion] and then me. It was uncalled for and he’s been very disrespectful.
“From my side of it, my argument is that there’s a queue to fight for a British title and we’re both in it. There’s stages to it and that’s what these eliminators are for.
“When it was ordered by the board [British Boxing Board of Control – BBBoC], he was trying to avoid it to get a straight shot at Eggington. Now though, we’re going ahead with the eliminator and I’ll be at my best.”
The purse bid was won by Steve Goodwin, O’Donnell’s manager and promoter and the bout will take place at Bethnal Green’s York Hall. The famous venue is familiar territory for Evans, who appeared there in March. The 23-year-old was stopped in five rounds against Nigerian talent Larry Ekundayo and he’s determined to vanquish the memory.
Evans said: “Last time, I didn’t think my performance was what I’m capable of, at all. This time, I’ve gotta put those wrongs right. “It’s a fight, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter where it is, I just have to do what I do; train hard and focus on my fight. I’m used to fighting away, anyway.
“I know O’Donnell’s been inactive. I haven’t heard much about him, to be honest. I’ve seen some clips but they’re a few years old now. From what I’ve seen, I don’t rate him that high. He thinks he’s flashy but with my strength, he can do all the posing he wants, I’ll rough him up. Hopefully it’ll be an early night for me.”
Evans had been hopeful of a routine warm-up outing, alongside Lockett Boxing gym-mates Alex Hughes (5-0, 3KO) and Zack Davies (3-0), on Warrior Promotions’ show at the Newport Centre on 10 October. However, due to the stipulations of his contract with Goodwin, Evans is unable to fight 30 days before 7 November. The full-time concreter is naturally disappointed but feels confident he has the structure in place to prepare properly.
He said: “It’s just one of those things that happens. If it’s in the contract, so be it. I’ve just got to deal with it and get on with the fight in November. My head’s back in the swing of training and I’m eager to get on with it.
“I’ve had a few good weeks of working hard and putting the extra hours in. Closer to the fight, I’ll be doing less work with my day job and more training. Obviously I’ve got to keep working to keep the money coming in but my boss will kindly give me a few weeks off before the fight. So, I’ll be 100% focused on training and dieting for this.”