Jamie McDonnell sees dollar signs and a whole lot more on Texas return

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell makes no apologies for what it is that motivates him to get into the ring – it’s all about the money.

And he knows his bank balance will be significantly boosted if he successfully defends his WBA world title against Tomoki Kameda for the second time this weekend.

The 29-year-old has emerged as one of the most refreshingly honest men in the sport, laying bare his determination to make a barrel load of money in the next few years and set himself up for life.

“I’m not going to get in the ring and get punched in the head for nothing,” McDonnell said.

“We’re risking our lives and we want paying. I’ve earned it the hard way and I’ve been punched enough times so it’s about getting some good money.

“I’ve been chipping away for a long time and it’s only just paying off.

“The good money is coming and I don’t want it to stop so I’ve just got to keep winning.

“If I had to go back to plastering for a living after finishing with boxing I’d be devastated.

“I know nothing about boxing, I know nothing about the history.

“Obviously I watch fights on Sky now and I know a but about domestic boxing but I don’t know much about it and I don’t know overseas fighters.

“Some fighters live and breathe boxing whether they’re fighting or not. That’s not me.

“I’m out to set up me and my family for life. That’s what motivates me.”

The Hatfield fighter is in Corpus Christi, Texas, to meet Kameda for the second time after successfully out-pointing his Japanese foe in May.

Eyebrows were raised when a rematch was announced. Why would a world champion accept a high risk rematch after winning the original bout?

“The last fight set me up and this fight is a real good payday,” he said.

“But we all know there are bigger paydays out there. Without beating Kameda, I’m not going to get those paydays.

“I’m not in boxing to pick up belts, even though I keep picking them up.

“I want the big paydays. This is one but there are bigger ones ahead.

“It’s another fight on another big stage. It’s on American TV against a high-profile kid.

“The last fight created a lot of buzz and there will be a lot of buzz around this one.

“It opens more doors for me and will bring me more opportunities.

“This takes me to the next level. I’m on the border of moving up in weight. If I was to get beat, when I move up my price tag would devalue.

“If I beat Kameda and I move up I’m going to get a good chunk of money to fight any of the champions at super bantamweight.

“And I do believe I can beat any of them if I get the game plan right.

“This is fight is more important than last time.”

There has been plenty of change for McDonnell since he faced Kameda the first time.

He switched trainers to work under manager Dave Coldwell along with twin brother, European super bantamweight champion Gavin.

And he expects fight fans to notice a difference in him when he steps between the ropes this weekend.

He said: “I’ve watched some of the sparring back and even I could see the difference.

“It’s come together and hopefully it’ll all fall into place on the night and I look good and feel good.

“It’s getting used to Dave’s way but it’s been enjoyable making the change and doing different things.”

Sunday’s rematch will be only the second time in his professional career that McDonnell has fought someone he has previously met.

In 2006 he out-pointed Wayne Bloy then knocked him out in the third round four months later to win the English bantamweight title.

Though confessing he cannot remember the two bouts, he is hoping for a repeat.

He said: “Hopefully it’ll be the same again. I beat him on points and then I stopped him.

“We want to make a statement so who knows, touch wood, I don’t get dropped, I come through and smash him to bits.

“Stopping him this time would send a big marker out to this division and the next one up.”

One thing than can always be predicted about McDonnell is that he will have a holiday at least planned for after any fight.

And true to form, he will be heading away, not far from his current location, across the border to Mexico.

He said: “The sun came out the other day so I thought I’ll book it. It cost an arm and a leg but I thought why not.

“It’s where we got married so we’re going to take the baby and reminisce.”

These holidays cost money, so McDonnell best keep on earning it.