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Jamie McDonnell heads to Japan ahead of Inoue clash

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell
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Jamie McDonnell will head for Japan on Sunday as he puts in his final preparations for the defence of his world title.

McDonnell will put his WBA bantamweight title on the line against Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue on Friday in Tokyo.

After completing his training camp with a fortnight in Dubai, the Hatfield fighter moves on to Japan for the final few days before the bout.

And he explained his time in the United Arab Emirates has been vital.

“Dubai has been brilliant,” he told the Free Press.

“Training in the heat has been really good for me.

“We’ve come out here and the full focus has been getting in the best possible shape for this fight.

“It started back home with the work in the gym and with the strength and conditioning work at the university.

“But it’s all come together here and I’m feeling in the best possible shape of my career.”

Being in tip top condition will be essential for McDonnell in what is likely to prove the toughest test of his career.

Inoue is rated in the top ten pound for pound fighters in the world, having claimed world titles at two weights already.

But McDonnell insists he is not going to Japan to make up the numbers, and he has left no stone unturned in his bid to retain his title.

That includes attempting to acclimatise to life in Japan without having to go through the inevitable culture shock.

He said: “We’ve tried as much as possible to take away the time difference so I’ve been up very early, getting to bed early and working at the right times.

“We’re taking all the food with us as well so we won’t have to worry about that.

“We don’t want to run into any problems when we’re out there so we’re doing all we can.

“I’m going to be as ready for this fight as I possibly can be.

“And I’ll be bringing that title back home.”