Boxing: Slick Sheffield fighter '˜will become English champion' this month
Lee Connelly is backing Sheffield boxer Sam O'maison to become English champion this month
O’maison takes on Jordan Cooke for the vacant Super Lightweight title at Bramall Lane on April 21.
Westfield’s Connelly has intimate knowledge of 24-year-old Cooke - having been stopped by him in Birmingham two years ago.
But he feels the Coventry man won’t have enough to beat the “slicker style” of the Ryan Rhodes based O’maison.
“I am interested this match-up after sharing the ring with Cooke and I have heard lots about O’maison from around Sheffield gyms.
“Cooke is a decent long range southpaw with ok power but as my former coach will tell you I was very unwell the day I boxed him with a bad flu that had me up all night, followed by vomiting after the fight.
“I had been advised not to box but didn’t want to pull out last minute and let people down” said Connelly
“Cooke has only ever beaten journeymen, I know he has lost a couple since I boxed him but I didn’t see those fights so I can’t pick out a obvious weakness, but I’m sure O’Maison will find it.”
O’maison, 26, has been campaigning for a shot at the English title for months.
“I have seen Sam box and heard he is was talented with a lot of power I think he’s had some set-backs and underachieved so far as a professional and also been avoided, by the sounds of things” said Connelly.
“I’d say they have different styles although they are both southpaw and I think O’Maison will win - I hope he does.
“Sam has a slicker style with more head movement and a bigger punch, Cooke is a more basic textbook fighter, I would say.”
Connelly fights Stoke novice Liam Berrisford away from home on Saturday - and accepts he will be in the dark about his one-fight opponent.
“I know nothing about Berrisford but I’ll know all I need to after the first round on Saturday” the 42-fight veteran added.