Boxing: McDonnell fight with Brit king Stuey will only happen if money is right

Ready to rumble: Jamie McDonnell, right, meets Nick Otieno, left, in Sheffield tonight.   Picture: Steve Parkin.
Ready to rumble: Jamie McDonnell, right, meets Nick Otieno, left, in Sheffield tonight. Picture: Steve Parkin.
Have your say

TOP promoter Dennis Hobson insists there are no guarantees European bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell will ever face British king Stuey Hall.

It has been mooted as a potential match-up by Frank Maloney, who promotes the duo. He has claimed the fight could happen in September or October.

But Hobson has told The Star: “The fight is not necessarily going to happen. It is not 100 per cent set in stone.

“It would be a great fight but if it doesn’t make good business then we won’t do it.

“I know Jamie can beat him but it has to make financial sense. If there is a better route for us to go down then we will do it.”

McDonnell defends his Commonwealth title against Nick Otieno in Sheffield tonight. The Hatfield puncher has won his last eight fights in a row but Hobson, his manager, feels Otieno will be a major test of his credentials.

“This is a dangerous fight for Jamie,” he said. “He is coming up against someone who is relatively unknown on these shores and is a bit of an unknown quantity.

“Some of these African fighters are like granite. It is not going to be easy for Jamie at all but he has developed into a great professional. He knows what is required to get the job done. He has got a great engine on him and he just has to pick his moments to go for his shots.”

McDonnell, who is the headline act of the show, is refusing to underestimate his Kenyan opponent, who has never been stopped in 27 fights.

He said: “I am really looking forward to it. He [Otieno] has been in the ring with some of the best fighters in the world so I will have to be on top of my game.

“I’ve got to focus on one fight at a time because I’ve got so much to lose if I don’t.

“If I want to fight for the world title I have to win on Saturday and I’m up against a very tough opponent.”

But he added: “Training couldn’t have gone any better and I can’t wait to climb into the ring. I’m in great shape and the sparring is probably the best I’ve ever had.”

African champion Otieno has won 21 contests, stopping almost half his opponents, and his last two defeats were against unbeaten world ranked opponents.

McDonnell is confident of victory but he expects the fight to go down to the wire.

“I know he will be strong and I’ve prepared to go the full 12 rounds but, if I get a chance to stop him I’ll go for it,” he said. “I’m sure the Sheffield crowd will get behind me but it’s not quite the same as fighting at the Doncaster Dome.”