JAMIE McDONNELL will once again aim to overturn the threat of a Japanese threat as he prepares to face Naoya Inoue on May 25 in the Asian’s backyard. McDonnell, who has scaled the heights of the talent-laden bantamweight division with quality wins over Julio Ceja and Tomoki Kameda, will confirm himself as a great of British boxing with victory over Inoue, and his trainer, Dave Coldwell, is relishing the challenging of preparing his charge for the challenge of the two-weight champion.
“This is what Jamie is in boxing for, massive occasions like this,” buzzed Coldwell. “All he wants to be is the very best he can be, and by facing fighters with the quality of Inoue then he’ll go a long way in securing his legacy. This is a dream fight for Jamie, and as his trainer, it gives me a great pride to be able to test myself at the highest level and they don’t come much better than Inoue. I’ve long said that Jamie is a world class fighter, but this is another level altogether and he’ll be heading into this ready to cause a massive upset and show everyone just how quality a fighter he really is.”
A huge contrast exists in the paths taken by both fighters to this intriguing clash. The glory tasted by Inoue was heavily forecasted by the strong team backing him. A star in his native land since his professional inauguration, Inoue’s rise to national superstar has been a brutal one littered with power and crushing finishes, McDonnell has always been fighting for that adulation. An underdog at a variety of title levels, the former plasterer upset the odds to collect belts at British and European level, and repeated the trick when upsetting Ceja for the IBF strap in 2013. Coldwell is insistent that his man can do it again.
He said, “Listen, I know how hard a fight it is, but it’s nothing that me or Jamie haven’t heard before. He loves it when people are telling him he’s up against it and that he’s got no chance because that brings the best out of him. We’re going in with a quality fighter, but that’s what Jamie has been doing for a long time now, and when he goes up in class, you usually see the best version of him. He knows what it’s like to go to away territory and beat someone he wasn’t fancied to, he’s made a career out of it, so the travelling won’t impact him in the slightest. He’s going in with a quality operator and we’ve got to make sure that he’s completely ready to cause another massive shock.”