Boxer Jamie McDonnell bids to make history in Doncaster tonight

Jamie McDonnell at the press conference before his IBF World Bantamweight Championship fight against Julio Ceja. Picture: Andrew Roe

Jamie McDonnell at the press conference before his IBF World Bantamweight Championship fight against Julio Ceja. Picture: Andrew Roe

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Boxer Jamie McDonnell is bidding to put Doncaster on the map tonight - as he becomes the first ever fighter from the town to bid for a world title.

The 20-year-old from Hatfield will step into the ring at the Keepmoat Stadium hoping to make history as he goes head to head with Mexican Julio Ceja for the IBF World Bantamweight Crown.

Thousands of fans will pack into the stadium -and McDonnell will be hoping to emulate the recent success of Doncaster Rovers by being crowned champion in front of a home crowd.

He said: “There’s so many people who want to see me win a world title in Doncaster and you want to do it for them.

“It has been a tremendous buzz going out and promoting this fight because people are behind me. This is for everyone to enjoy. This is for Doncaster.”

Jamie, who already holds the British, European and Commonwealth bantamweight titles, is the first boxer from Doncaster to contest a globally recognised world title.

Balby-born Bruce Woodcock, who held the British and Empire heavyweight titles from 1945 to 1950 and was the European heavyweight champion 1946-1949, fought for the world heavyweight crown in 1950 - but while the fight was recognised in Britain and Europe, it was not recognised in the USA.

The 15-round fight against America’s Lee Savold in front of 50,000 spectators at London’s White City was stopped in the fourth round after Woodcock sustained a serious cut to the eye.

Jamie meanwhile, who is has stopped 22 of his 24 opponents in the ring so far, is ranked as the underdog by the bookies - but remains unfazed.

He said: “I do believe I am going to stop him. I’ve thought about it for a long time and I believe it even more now. I’ll be sat on holiday next week with a nice cold beer, smiling and saying to myself that I’m world champion.”

More than 4,500 tickets have been sold for tonight’s fight which will take place in the centre of the Keepmoat pitch and is expected to get under way at around 9pm.

It will also be screened live on Sky Sports on pay per view at £10.95 on channel 498.

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