THE biggest boxing match ever held in Doncaster is set to be announced this weekend.
European and Commonwealth champion Jamie McDonnell will defend both his belts against unbeaten British title holder Stuart Hall at the Dome on September 3 with all three titles at stake.
It will be the first time a triple championship fight has been held in the town which has a proud boxing history.
In fact the only previous time a Doncaster boxer has fought for all three titles on the same night was over 60 years ago when legendary heavyweight Bruce Woodcock stopped Freddie Mills in 14 rounds at the White City Stadium, in London.
Woodcock, from Balby, and Thurnscoe’s former lightweight champion Billy Thompson, are the only two Doncaster area boxers to have won three European title fights.
But if McDonnell beats Hall he will surpass both men’s achievements having equalled their record with his gruelling points victory over world class Stephane Jamoye in his last outing at the Dome.
Although the fight has yet to be officially announced McDonnell exclusively revealed the news to the Free Press this week before jetting off on a fortnight’s holiday to Mexico with his girlfriend.
He said: “I’m having a break in the sun but I’ll be keeping fit while I’m there, watching what I eat and doing some running.
“When I get back I’ll be in strict training because, although I know I’m going to be the first man to beat Stuart Hall, I can’t afford to leave anything to chance.”
The 25-year-old Hatfield man added: “I’ve got a world top ten ranking, which he hasn’t, so at one time I didn’t think it was worth fighting him.
“But since I said that he’s been on television virtually saying I’m avoiding him - and I don’t want that.
“If he wants it, he can have it and we’ll see what he’s got then.
“I’m really looking forward to the fight.
“In fact I’m buzzing already, especially with it being at home.
“I’m not underestimating him for one minute, because he doesn’t know what it’s like to lose.
“But he’ll know all right when we get it on.
“He’s a strong lad, but I know I’m a lot stronger and, when it gets to the second half of the fight, I’m going to destroy him.”
Hall, 31, comes from Darlington and is unbeaten in 12 fights, stopping seven of his opponents.
McDonnell has two defeats on his record in twenty contests but he added: “I was just a kid then, playing at the game.
“I’m a different prospect altogether now.”
Joint trainer Stefy Bull said that McDonnell had not yet received the recognition he deserved for his achievements but winning this fight could propel him on to the world stage.
He said: “Jamie had to go to France to win the European title and nobody really gave him a chance.
“When he knocked down the then champion it fell under the radar a bit apart from the hard core boxing fans.
“But, when he wins this fight, it will raise his profile more among the British public.
“Make no mistake this is a major fight - one of the biggest around domestically - and it will fill the Dome. Hall is very good but he’s never been in with anyone who hits as hard as Jamie.”