City boxing star Dezzy ready for ring return
DEZZY O'CONNOR will bring to an end a four-year exile from the ring when he comes up against unbeaten local hero Philip Bowes in London's East End on Saturday, September 15.
Plymouth's O'Connor has not laced up his gloves in anger since gaining a narrow points victory over Ibrar Riyaz in November 2008, at the Guildhall.
O'Connor has switched recently to city-based Cosmo Gym after a long association with the Scott Dann and Dave Smith stable at Plympton.
The popular 28-year-old decided to call a halt to a distinguished and crowd-pleasing amateur and professional career to pursue other ambitions.
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But the lure of the ring held sway and at the York Hall on Saturday week, O'Connor gets the chance to resume part two of his career against Bowes, who is also 28 years old.
And, according to Cosmo coach Glyn Mitchell, O'Connor is in the mood to make his opponent chime to another set of Bowe bells, as the Plymothian chases down a long-delayed hat-trick of victories.
O'Connor had won his last two fights against Ibrar Riyaz and Carl Griffiths, respectively and Mitchell believes his charge is in the mood to make it a treble.
"Dezzy's always been naturally fit and really can't wait to get stuck into Bowe after such a long time out," said Mitchell, whose light-welterweight boxer has a record of four wins and two defeats as a pro.
"He's been training hard and improving his technical and defensive skills to go alongside his crowd-pleasing style.
"But it's the punch power that he is developing up at the gym that is really going to make people sit up and take notice.
"Dezzy will go into the contest as the underdog, as he hasn't fought for four years, while Bowes is unbeaten in three.
"But I make it 50/50 and hand on heart can say that Bowes will have one hell of a scrap coming his way, just to hold on to his unbeaten tag – by drawing."
While O'Connor will be competing over six rounds in a catchweight clash – set at 10st 3lbs – with southpaw Bowes, his stablemate Ben Morrish is in action at Portsmouth.
Morrish has been matched with fellow ring rookie Shaun Tribble at South Parade Pier in a four-round super-featherweight contest.
Tribble, 24, has on the face of it an unimpressive record of four paid contests with three defeats and one draw.
But Mitchell draws a comparison between Tribble's luck with decisions and Morrish's who has won two and lost three of his pro contests.
"I thought Tribble was unlucky to have lost to Torryn Pook on the Plymouth show earlier this year, and is a lot tougher an opponent than his record suggests," said Mitchell.
"It's the same with Ben, to a certain extent, he's lost bouts which we think he should have at least drawn, so again this is a 50/50 contest, and difficult to predict the outcome.
"But, what I will say is that we've worked on Ben's power and like Dezzy's he's punching like the kick of a mule.
"The theory being that we don't want to rely on the ref being kind to an away fighter if it comes to a close call on points."