TOP promoter Dennis Hobson admits he has a few reservations over the task facing European champion Jamie McDonnell at Doncaster Dome on January 22.
The Donny boxer is taking on what the Sheffield entrepreneur considers one of the toughest bantamweights on the continent in the mandatory defence of McDonnell's EBU (European) title.
"When the name Stephane Jamoye came up, I thought 'Crikey' "admits Hobson.
"I'd rather have had this guy another one or two fights away.
"I wanted Jamie to thoroughly establish himself (he won the vacant bantamweight title last March) and sometimes you wonder if certain fights come too early.
"I had this situation with Clinton Woods early in his career, you send young fighters to London and the US to experience different things but you reach a point where you just have to let them off the leash," said Hobson.
"Sometimes I am cautious with fighters.
"Actually I thought it might have been too early for James DeGale when he fought Paul Smith, for example, but he really showed his class that night.
"For Jamie, I would rather this one had come six or 12 month down the line.
"But, really, I am not unduly worried. And I wouldn't want to hold him back. It is probably 60-40 in Jamie's favour, although if it was away from home, I'd say it was 50-50."
McDonnell, 24, is taking on a younger opponent in Belgium's Jamoye.
Jamoye, aged 21, had an 18-match winning run until being outpointed to the WBC Youth World bantamweight title in Mexico, last August.
That defeat doesn't give Hobson any comfort however.
"He lost that fight by a split decision, and it seems like it was a home-town decision, too.
"The guy is highly rated by the WBC and while I know Jamie can beat him, he will have stick to the game plan.
"He has got to listen to what he is told, as he did in France (beating Jerome Arnould for the title) and against Ian Napa (winning the British bantamweight title last January) to succeed."
McDonnell has a won 15 (KO seven) lost two, drawn one record. Jamoye has 19 wins out of 20.
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