John O’Donnell: ‘One way or another I’ll get that British title’

John O'Donnell
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As he enters the final chapter of his career, John O'Donnell has a last chance to achieve his potential

How have you felt after all this time (two years) out of the ring?

I’m feeling good. I’m in a great place. I’ve had a brilliant camp from before Christmas so it’s been a long good camp. I’m in great shape, I’m in a great place physically and mentally. I’m just looking forward to getting in there now.

I’m excited. I can’t wait to get back in there, underneath the lights and do what I do best.

Why have you been out for so long?

Mainly injuries. I had this on going rib injury and couldn’t seem to shake it… Now I’m raring to go and can’t wait to get back in there. I’m ready to kickstart my career and get a move on.

It was doing my head in. To have to withdraw from fights, it was devastating for me.

Realistically I haven’t got long left in my career, two maybe three years, so I’m going to hit it hard.

What do you remember of the hype around you when you first turned professional?

It was many moons ago but I’ve got fond memories… It didn’t seem to go to plan. It didn’t seem to happen. A couple of stop-starts throughout my career, problems in and out of the ring and it just didn’t materialise where I wanted it to go.

The main thing in my career it’s been way too long between fights. Now I just know I’m going to be kept busy. I’m going to be kept busy, kept active and that’s what I need especially this last stretch of my career, this last chapter.

I’ve no doubt you’re going to see a hungry and improved fighter these coming months.

So do you feel you haven’t achieved what you could have with your talent?

100%. I’ve underachieved majorly. I’ve no doubt I should have picked up British, Commonwealth, possibly European [titles]. Who knows, I probably should have been on the verge of a world title shot if things had gone my way. It didn’t. There’s no point crying over spilled milk. I can’t turn back time, I’ve got to look to the future and the present and where I am now.

I’m looking forward to knuckling down now, this last stretch of my career, giving it everything I’ve got and hopefully have some big nights ahead.

Have you got targets for who you’d like to fight?

I want the British title. As we speak I’m in no position to call anybody out. But I’ll fight anyone, given the opportunity. [But] I’m going to get myself in that position where they’ve got to fight me or vacate.

One way or the other I’m going to get my hands on that British title, this year, fingers crossed.

I haven’t felt like this in years… You’re going to see me rejuvenated this year, 100%. String a good run of performances together and pick up some titles this year.

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