Jamie McDonnell: I’ll KO Japanese foe

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell believes he has won the first stage of his battle with Tomoki Kameda after the two rivals went face to face for the first time.

The WBA champion will face the Japanese sensation tonight in Hidalgo, Texas, knowing the winner will be propelled into the elite level of world boxing.

Kameda has been rated the odds-on favourite for the fight with much of the talk labelling him a big and strong bantamweight.

But Thursday’s first head-to-head saw the Doncaster fighter tower above his rival with a height advantage of several inches.

And McDonnell claims he saw fear in Kameda’s eyes.

“I think Kameda is a bit scared and a bit intimidated by my size,” McDonnell said.

“I genuinely believe I am going to knock him out. I’m too big and too strong.”

The 29-year-old weighed in at 8st 5lb 8oz at yesterday’s weigh-in, comfortable inside the bantamweight limit.

That backed up his assertion that he is in the best condition he has been in for several years.

Another claim he has made throughout the build-up to this bout is that he will stop Kameda, who relinquished his WBO title last month in order to face McDonnell.

He said: “I’ve told a few people to stick a decent few quid on me to stop him.

“I wouldn’t be doing that if I wasn’t confident that I was going to do it.

“I know I’ve got what it takes to demolish this kid and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Tonight will see McDonnell’s first introduction to an American audience, coming on terrestrial television on CBS.

And he has told US fight fans what to expect.

He said: “Fans can expect to see a lot of heart.

“I can take a punch, I can give a punch.

“It’s an interesting fight and it’s a chance for me to showcase what I’m all about on this great stage here in America.

“I’ve been a world champion for a couple of years now.

“I’m ultra-confident for this fight. It’s the best I’ve ever felt.

“I’m really looking forward to it.

“Kameda is a good fighter and I expect the very best from him.

“He better expect the very best from me.

“This is life changing, whoever wins this fight gets propelled up a few levels.”

McDonnell will fight during the day in Texas, allowing his bout to be shown live on primetime TV in the UK, on Sky Sports.

n More on McDonnell, turn to p49