McDonnell confident of defending Euro title ‘away from home’

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EUROPEAN champion Jamie McDonnell is expecting big support this weekend even though he doesn’t consider himself to be boxing at home.

McDonnell fights 32-year-old Ivan Pozo in a defence of his European bantamweight belt at Hillsborough Leisure Centre and although disappointed at not boxing at the Doncaster Dome, still believes the crowd will cheer him to victory.

“It’s a shame it’s not at the Dome but my fans are great and I’ll be taking a lot of them to Sheffield,” he said. “They do help you out and roar you on if you’re ever in trouble and that came in handy during the fights with Stephane Jamoye and Stuart Hall.”

The last time McDonnell boxed at Hillsborough, he did put in a flat performance but he blames that on the spoiling tactics of Kenyan opponent Nick Otieno. Pozo is set to be more game and that should bring out the best in McDonnell.

The Spaniard was considered a hard-hitter at flyweight and 20 of his 32 wins came by way of stoppage. However, he’s also been stopped four times out of his six defeats.

He challenged unsuccessfully for the WBO flyweight title in 2008 after a dominating spell as European champion.

Pozo has only boxed twice since late 2009 but McDonnell insists: “He’s obviously not one to be dismissed because he’s been around a while and has challenged for a world title. It’s up to me to get to grips with him and deal with that he throws at me.”