Jamie McDonnell has ‘come of age’ in the build up to his shot at the IBF world bantamweight title according to manager Dennis Hobson.
The Doncaster fighter openly admits he has been difficult to keep on track when it comes to the proper preparation for bouts.
But Hobson says he has been ‘incredibly impressed’ by McDonnell’s attitude and dedication as he prepares for his May 11 date with destiny at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.
“Jamie is a jack the lad and that’s why everyone loves him,” Sheffield promoter Hobson told the Star.
“He’s had to mature and I think he has done.
“He sees the bigger picture, he wants to better himself in life, like everyone I suppose.
“This is his opportunity and it’s storybook – on a big stage in front of his home town fans.
“I’m impressed with how he’s got in shape, he’s come of age and rightly so.
“He’s got good people around him and he’s had some good sparring.
“He looks good and you can see that he’s really pumped up for it.”
Hobson is convinced the boxing world has yet to see the best of McDonnell.
And he shares his charge’s view that he is capable of going on to unify the world titles in the bantamweight division.
Hobson said: “I really don’t think we’ve seen the best of Jamie just yet.
“You could never fault the work he does in the gym but outside of it he’s never lived the right life as an ultimate professional.
“He’s settled in his personal life, he’s got that side of things sorted.
“Now he can go on and concentrate on his gift and that is being a special fighter.
“Timing is everything in life and it’s all come together for him at a time when he’s reached the world level.
“If he does the business on May 11 that’s brilliant for me because I can go out and make the big fights.
“Let’s go and unify the division and make Jamie McDonnell one of the biggest stars in the boxing world.”
Hobson is also pleased with how the undercard has shaped up for his May 11 show which could have a crowd of 9,000 at the Keepmoat.
He said: “Plenty of cards like this have the world title fight then a load of fluff.
“We’ve got the Commonwealth champion Stuart Hall against the world number five in Sergio Perales.
“It’s going to be a great night.”