News May 2007

Britain’s Golden Pair spar Mosley, link up with de la Hoya

Hennessy Sports promoted John Murray and John O’Donnell continued to soak up their US experience yesterday when they sparred four times world champion ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley.

Murray, Mosley & O'Donnell

The ‘Golden Pair’ stepped in with the current WBC welterweight champion shortly after watching their US co-promoter Oscar de la Hoya complete his final spar ahead of his highly anticipated showdown against Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand on Saturday night.
Lightweight Murray and welterweight O’Donnell, who both box on the stellar event, have been using de la Hoya’s LA gym as a training base since travelling to America last Tuesday.

“It’s been some day,” former Junior Olympic Gold medallist and English welterweight champion O’Donnell - who will box Mexican Christian Solano over ten rounds - said last night.

“I will never forget it. I’m just 21 and I have sparred Shane Mosley. Not many young fighters coming through get the opportunities I do. I regularly spar Carl Froch, (standout British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion), Junior Witter, (WBC World light welterweight champion), and now I have sparred Shane Mosley.”

He continued: “Both Shane and Oscar took time out for us, even though it is a very busy week. They went out of their way to give me support and advice. It meant a lot to me.”

O’Donnell sparred with Mosley over five rounds, whilst his Hennessy Sports teammate and history making WBC Youth World champion Murray worked over four.

“You can’t buy this kind of experience,” said Murray. “It’s invaluable. It’s something I will never forget. Shane, Oscar and their team are class acts. It was great to be around them and people like Freddie Roach and Jack Mosley.

“I learnt a lot in those four rounds against Shane. It was easy to tell why he has won four world titles at three weights. I was pleased with my own work though; I’m really up for Saturday. Both John and me are in great shape, we are on fire.”

The Golden Pair have since relocated to Vegas with the Golden Boy team, their trainers Robert McCracken, (O’Donnell), and Joe Gallagher, (Murray), and promoter Mick Hennessy.

“It was absolutely brilliant to watch that sparring,” said Hennessy yesterday. “They both gave an excellent account of themselves and Shane couldn’t speak highly enough about them afterwards.

“He said O’Donnell was full of tricks and he loved his style and fast hands. He thought Murray was a real handful, punched hard and was very strong for a lightweight. He said they were both great young talents.

“You cannot put a price on the opportunity John Murray and O’Donnell were given. Oscar and Shane are both absolute gentleman. It was an inspiration to see them putting something back into the sport, particularly when you consider the scale of the fight Oscar is going into this week.”

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