Sheffield boxer is fan of Kell Brook’s opponent!

Sheffield Boxer Sam O'maison
Sheffield Boxer Sam O'maison
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SAM O’maison is a fan of world champion Devon Alexander.

Which could be a bit awkward - considering the Sheffielder is a gym-mate and sparring partner of Kell Brook.

Brook is training hard at the Ingle fight factory to strip American rival Alexander of his IBF welterweight belt at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 18.

O’maison is a rookie - but more importantly, like Alexander, he boxes in a southpaw stance.

So he has had more than few training rounds with Brook in the run-up to the big one, Stateside.

“I went to America to see Devon fight Junior Witter (California, 2009) and he’s very good, in fact I have tried to copy his style” says O’maison.

“Devon is a smart boxer, a very fast operator and he can keep it going for 12 rounds.”

O’maison, a Shiregreen lad who will compete at Ponds Forge for the more modest Junior British Masters Lightweight title on April 13, believes Brook’s appointment with Alexander could be a close fight.

But he added: “Devon is faster than Kell in some ways and you have to say he has faced better opponents but I think Kell - if he manages to press him and catch him with a few of his bombs - can end it in eight rounds.

“Kell has to neutralise him by blocking off the ring and then use some of the moves he has been working on that works against southpaws.”

O’maison said sparring with Brook was enlightening - but not without its risks.

“The one word to sum up Kell is ‘dangerous.’ He is very heavy handed and if one lands properly it’s lights out.

“I have learned such a lot from him - not least of all the importance of having quick reactions to try and survive!”

For the time being, O’maison, 21, has to put his entire focus on preparing for his own title tilt.

He is up against Staffordshire rival Andy Keates.

Keates, from Leek, has recognised it will be a tough fight but says: “I know I’ve got all the tools in my box to be able to beat this kid.”

He, like his Sheffield rival is unbeaten, but has boxed three more pro fights.

Neither boxer has recorded a KO yet.

But O’maison says: “That is what the fans want to see - and I am confident I can give it to them.

“I have learned from boxing four journeymen and this is a step-up and my trainer, Dominic Ingle, says I will be let off the leash for this one.”