Jamie McDonnell ready for first world title defence

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell admits it is a little strange to be making a first defence of a world title despite being a two-time undefeated champion.

The Doncaster fighter will defend his WBA bantamweight title tonight against Javier Chacon in Liverpool, six months after winning the crown at Wembley Stadium.

And tonight’s bout comes 18 months after his victory for the IBF world title, which he was controversially stripped of a year ago.

McDonnell has taken the ups and downs of the past in his stride and insists he is just delighted to be involved in meaningful fights.

“What’s happened is just how it goes and I don’t think about it too much,” he told the Star. “It is a bit weird to have not defended the world title but I defended the European title plenty of times so I’m used to it.

“As long as I’m fighting and there’s something there to motivate me, I’m happy.

“I’ve got this world title unification fight next year in Las Vegas if I come through on Saturday.

“If that fight wasn’t for two titles but it was still in Vegas and for good money, that would still be enough for me.

“Some fights don’t need titles for you to be motivated.

“Saying that though, I still want to win all the belts no matter at what weight. I just want a full collection and I’m missing the WBO and WBC.

“I can picture them all in a cabinet in my house that I can sit and look at when I call it a day.”

For all that to become a reality, McDonnell must first see off the challenge of Argentina’s Chacon.

Both men weighed in yesterday one pound inside the 8st6lb bantamweight limit and McDonnell demonstrated his huge height advantage over Chacon at the post weigh-in photo shoot.

Despite the spoils on offer tonight, the 28-year-old is likely to be outside of the spotlight at the Echo Arena tonight with the rematch between bitter rivals Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly capturing all the headlines.

Fights for big names Anthony Joshua and George Groves will see him further down the pecking order.

But he is just happy to be involved in another big night of British boxing.

He said: “It’s a boost that Eddie Hearn (promoter) has put me on the last three biggest shows in Britain. It shows he believes in me.

“He clearly wants someone like me that has won plenty of things to help sell the pay-per-view.

“I’ve got to keep busy and impress, do everyone proud and hopefully I’ll headline on my own at some point.

“I’m not too fussed about headlining but I’d love a big one back in Doncaster again.”

* Fighter such as Josesito Lopez, Andre Berto and Brandon Rios are being discussed as potential first challengers for Kell Brook’s IBF welterweight title in March next year.