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McDonnell aiming to fly high

08 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
McDonnell aiming to fly high

Unlike his aerophobic coach, writes Boxing News’ Danny Flexen

ON the surface, it seems the odds are stacked firmly against Doncaster’s WBA bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell as he prepares to defend his title against unbeaten ex-WBO king Tomoki Kameda in Hidalgo, Texas this Saturday. Not only is the Japanese younger, fresher and more used to fighting in America, but he is talented too and McDonnell’s trainer Dave Hulley recently revealed a fear of flying that will prevent him being in his charge’s corner for the first time. So far, so ominous.

Yet… McDonnell is a formidable performer, tenacious battler and is on a great run of form. The Yorkshireman has not lost in 17 fights spread out over seven years, and took a quality win on away turf when stopping Jerome Arnauld in France for the vacant European belt in 2010. Presumably, Hulley took the Eurostar. McDonnell may have had home advantage when winning the IBF belt in 2013 by outscoring skilful Mexican Julio Ceja, but the latter has not lost since and holds the WBC Silver belt.

At 5ft 8ins, McDonnell (29) is an inch taller than Kameda and has long arms. Able to fight inside or outside, he will be the toughest opponent yet for his 23-year-old foe.

The younger brother of two decorated pros, Koki and Daiki, Kameda won his WBO strap from the undefeated but untested Paulus Ambunda less than two years ago. He has since vacated, with the WBO refusing to consider this as a unification match – because the WBC have a higher rated champion at the weight – or a defence, as McDonnell is unrated by them. Tomoki is well-schooled – works with Cuban coach Osimir Fernandez who also trains Richar Abril – and purposeful but starts a significant favourite in what is pretty much a 50-50 fight on neutral territory.

It’s asking a lot of McDonnell but perhaps the stress of his build-up has galvanised him and in Dave Coldwell he has a more than adequate replacement for Hulley. So lump on McDonnell to win on points at 100/30.

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