Trainer eyes title shot for O’Meara

Steve O’Meara’s trainer Jim McDonnell wants him to fight for a major title following his first-round demolition of fellow West Londoner Ryan Toms.

O’Meara, 27, became the southern area light-middleweight champion at Bethnal Green’s York Hall on Friday by beating the previously undefeated Toms, who failed to beat the count after being floored by a crisp combination.

The victory leaves O’Meara on course for a shot at the British title currently held by Manchester’s Prince Arron, while a challenge for Jamie Cox’s Commonwealth crown is also being considered.

“If you hit them clean – and Steve hit him clean – they will go.”

Like O’Meara, Swindon fighter Cox is under promoter Frank Warren’s umbrella, so a match could be made.

“Steve’s very mature and mentally strong. I think he’ll fight for a major title in his next fight and I hope he does,” McDonnell told West London Sport.

“It might be Jamie Cox, we’re not sure yet. But somewhere along the line I’d like Steve to have a title fight that’ll really motivate him.

“We’ll wait and see what Frank [Warren] comes up with but I certainly think Steve can move on from this and do well for himself. He’s got the ability.”

O’Meara had been expected to use his technical ability against Northolt southpaw Toms, who was on a roll after winning his first nine professional bouts.

Few could have predicted such a quick finish, but former European featherweight champion McDonnell – who also trains Harlesden’s James DeGale – insisted he knew O’Meara was capable of stopping his opponent.

O'Meara stunned Ryan Toms in the opening round at York Hall





Sparring with the likes of DeGale, world champion Carl Froch and world title challenger Darren Barker – not to mention American great Floyd Mayweather – gave O’Meara a definite advantage against the relatively unseasoned Toms, who had only six bouts as an amateur before turning pro.

McDonnell said: “I knew Steve had the punch. Often people punch harder than you think and it’s only if you spar with them and work with them day-to-day that you can know how hard they can actually hit.

“If you hit them clean – and Steve hit him clean – they will go, and boxing’s about levels and no disrespect to Ryan but Steve’s a level above him at the moment.

“Ryan was an undefeated fighter and you’ve got to respect anyone who has that zero on their record, because you don’t know how good they are – it doesn’t tell you they’re good, it tells you they might be.

“But you look at the kind of people Steve works with on a regular basis – working with Barker, DeGale and Froch – so in his mind to fight Ryan Toms was an easy night at the office, and it proved to be just that.”