Trainer says Islington fighter is ready to step up

George Kean with trainer Jim McDonnell

George Kean with trainer Jim McDonnell - Credit: Kevin Lines/TGSPHOTO

George Kean’s trainer believes the Islington welterweight is more than ready to fight over six rounds – but concedes he may have to be patient.

Kean recorded his second successive win – and his first stoppage – since turning professional as he brushed aside Bulgarian journeyman Danny Donchev in four rounds at the Copper Box Arena last weekend.

But former European featherweight champion Jim McDonnell, who trains Kean, feels there is a shortage of boxers prepared to take on the highly-rated 22-year-old in a lengthier contest.

“Many fighters, myself included, never boxed four rounds in our lives,” McDonnell told the Gazette. “It was six or eight rounds from day one.

“Everyone wants six rounds as soon as possible and, if you train as hard as George does, there’s no reason why you can’t do that. For example, James DeGale boxed 12 rounds in his seventh professional fight.

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“The problem you’ve got is people like George’s last opponent will only take the fight over four. They don’t want to lose the payday and they feel they can just get through four rounds.

“George is going to get better as he goes on – we’ve seen him against some good quality boys in sparring. He got the stoppage – a very good stoppage – and he boxed really well.”

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Kean always looked in control of Saturday’s contest, making good use of his left jab and rocking his opponent with a straight right in the opening round.

Donchev landed some good punches of his own, but he also hit the canvas three times in all – one of which looked like a genuine stumble.

However, the other two followed prolonged attacks by the former Times ABC star, including a robust right uppercut – yet Donchev’s response to each fall was somewhat theatrical.

He resorted to holding – even grabbing Kean’s legs at one stage – for which he was deducted a point and, after another flurry of blows from the Islington man, referee Robert Williams halted the contest one minute into the final round.

“He wanted to turn it into a wrestling match, but George never let that happen,” added McDonnell.

“George got his first pro fight out of the way and this time he was a lot more relaxed and calm and he boxed to plan. I think the biggest improvement in George has been defensively.

“He has got the killer instinct, but defensively he’s really smart and he’s learned that if you have a good defence you’re good offensively too.”

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