Steve O’Meara will win a major title in 2012, his trainer Jim McDonnell has predicted.
The 27-year-old light-middleweight might have challenged Obodai Sai for the Commonwealth crown had the Ghanaian succeeded with a recent appeal against a hugely controversial points decision that saw him lose the belt to Jamie Cox.
The Commonwealth Boxing Council, despite receiving a number of complaints about the verdict, ruled that the title should stay with Cox.
And with British champion Prince Aaron having been nominated for a shot at the European title, O’Meara will have to bide his time.
O’Meara is therefore set for a first defence of the southern-area title he won with a stunning first-round knockout of fellow West Londoner Ryan Toms in September.
“We’ll let him off the leash and I think he’ll be champion next year, definitely,” McDonnell declared.
“There’s a future champion there in the making. The only thing that’s stopping him at the moment is [a lack of] experience.”
O’Meara is a stable-mate of Harlesden’s European super-middleweight champion James DeGale and has sparred with world champion Carl Froch and world title challenger Darren Barker – not to mention American superstar Floyd Mayweather.
McDonnell believes that experience will stand O’Meara in good stead and that a match with the hard-hitting 6ft 3in Aaron could be made in the new year.
He said: “Looking at the background we’ve given him – he’s sparred with Mayweather, Froch, Barker and DeGale – he’s been in deep and I know what he’s about.
“I wouldn’t fancy Aaron in a three-round fight, but over 12 rounds I would. What I want now is for Steve to have a 10-rounder as he’s only had one eight-rounder so far.”