Early professional career
Over the next three years he would fight 13 more times without defeat against a series of journeymen opponents before earning the right to fight for the English title in May 2007. The fight ended with a 10 round points victory for O'Donnell. The bout ended with disappointment for the 15-0 prospect after the fight was stopped in the 2nd round giving victory to the Mexican.
Four more victories followed in 2008 before being given the chance to fight for the Commonwealth title in 2009. O'Donnell's shot at a first major title came on 11 April 2009. It was a step up in class for O'Donnell and he signaled his entry into the top tier of domestic boxing with victory over Watson via a split decision in what was described as a close and scintillating contest.
The fight, shown live on ITV4, was too much of a step-up for Glover who was stopped in the 6th round with O'Donnell having taken full control. O'Donnell gave up the belt after coming under pressure from the Commonwealth council after a mandatory defence scheduled for 5 March 2010 against the Ghanaian boxer Philip Kotey fell through. On 7 May 2010 he stepped back into the ring to defeat Hungarian boxer Laszlo Balogh in the 5th round of an 8 round contest stating after the fight that he would like to meet Paul McCloskey in an all Irish contest for the European title.
Winning the fight over 12 rounds O'Donnell claimed that Cauthen was the best boxer he had ever faced and that the reason why he gave up his Commonwealth belt was "because my team did not want that belt to hold me back, so I could go onto the next level". British title challenge
On 19 February 2011 O'Donnell met former victim Craig Watson at the Wembley Arena to challenge for the vacant British title only for Watson to gain revenge by winning over 12 rounds.