PROMOTER Dennis Hobson says Jamie McDonnell is a world champion in the making...after curbing his “beer monster” social life.
McDonnell could be making his final step towards a WBC title shot when he defends his European bantamweight belt against Spaniard Ivan Pozo, 32, at Hillsborough Leisure centre in Sheffield on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Doncaster fighter is currently number two rated contender in the WBC and is being lined up to take on Japanese WBC title holder Shinsuke Yamanaka.
He is reaching these heights after calming his down his booze intake, says the Sheffield entrepreneur.
“Jamie is a party animal through and through. I’m not saying he was like Ricky Hatton used to be (blowing up in weight in between bouts) but he is a bit of a lad who likes to party.
“Considering his frame (he fights at eight stone six pounds) he can be a bit of a beer monster.
“I have been out with him and couldn’t believe what he could down” said Hobson.
“But a while ago the penny really dropped with him.
“He knows what Clinton Woods (Sheffield’s retired IBF champion) achieved and the way he conducted himself. He respects him and I think his way of life has rubbed off.”
Hobson said McDonnell remained “great company” with lots of friends but was much more mature in his outlook when it came to alcohol.
“Don’t get me wrong, if I suggested a blow-out he’d probably be up for it straight away.
“He loves his junk food too, he used to eat some absolute rubbish.
“But now he has realised now what he can achieve in boxing if he looks after himself and doesn’t go on the pop. He knows he has to live like Clinton did and make sacrifices to achieve the same level.
“It is a short career and Jamie knows what he has to do and get down to the serious business of becoming a world champion.”
Hobson said the whole of Doncaster should be proud of their top boxer, who has won 18 (KO 7) lost two and drawn one.
Saturday will be his fourth defence of the European title.
“In Sheffield, we have been spoiled with all our champions, but Jamie is making history for Doncaster in achieving what he has already and going on to greater things.
“I want him not just to a British boxer who contends for world titles, like Chisora, Macklin, Munroe and Murray...but actually go on and win them.
“He has an attractive boxer-fighter which my contacts in America will love his style as his exposure grows.”