WITH the world title finally now within his sights Jamie McDonnell has got his energy and focus back.
McDonnell, aged 26, has only fought once this year and a clash with Mexican Hugo Cazares failed to materialise after his management team lost the purse bid.
Since then McDonnell vacated his European title and had been in and out of the gym until his manager Dennis Hobson helped to secure him an IBF title eliminator fight with South African Vusi Malinga.
Along with another local fighter who is on the edge of super stardom, Kell Brook, Jamie will help to spearhead the Sheffield Arena show on October 20.
He’s anticipating a solid opponent and that the home backing will bring the best out of him.
“I’ve been out of the ring for too long. I’m the sort of person that needs a date to be in the gym full-time and to be motivated,” McDonnell told The Star.
“He’s boxed for the world title a few times, he’s tough and older and more experienced than me. He throws awkward shots so it’s going to be a good test but I think I’m ready to step it up now.
“I’ve had four defences of my other titles and this is just the next step and one I’ve been wanting to take for a while.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better show to go on. I went to Kell’s last show there and it was electric.
“It will be like a world title fight in front of all those people. Then we can look at fighting for a proper world title in December.”
McDonnell was ringside to see his twin Gavin win his first title at the Dome last Saturday night. Gavin is now the Central Area super-bantamweight champion, a title Jamie never held.
“I skipped that title out on my way to the top,” laughed McDonnell.
“Gavin did really well. There’s little mistakes he has to iron out but he’s really improving as a fighter.”
The rest of Stefy Bull’s Mexborough stable are aiming to be on the next Dome show on December 1.
Tickets for McDonnell v Malinga are priced at £30, £40, £60 and £100 and are available from the Motorpoint Arena website: www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.