WBA World Bantamweight champion McDonnell faces Kameda in Texas duel

Jamie McDonnell has travelled a difficult path to reach his super fight with Japanese opponent Tomoki Kameda, but the Doncaster-born WBA World Bantamweight champion faces his toughest test yet in Texas.

This driven 29-year-old fighter has made the daunting trip to the United States where he will come up against an undefeated former world champion in the form of Kameda, in a bout which could ultimately determine the direction of his boxing career.

Former IBF world champion McDonnell, who has also held the European, Commonwealth and British bantamweight titles, is the 9/4 outsider to secure victory on American soil, but is extremely confident ahead of such a crucial contest.

Kameda VS McDonnell

The Coral-sponsored fighter will not be putting his WBA belt on the line in Texas, but Japanese counterpart Kameda has given up his WBO strap before the pair’s battle, and McDonnell believes he is too big for his rival.

“I think Kameda is a bit scared and a bit intimidated by my size. I genuinely believe I am going to knock him out. I’m too big and too strong,” stated McDonnell.

The brilliant bantamweight’s record currently stands at 23-2-1, including 10 ferocious knock-out triumphs, but a victory in the US could catapult him to boxing stardom, with defeat potentially delivery a fatal blow to his long-term fighting career.

“I’ve been a world champion for a couple of years now. I’m ultra-confident for this fight. It’s the best I’ve ever felt. I’m really looking forward to it,” he continued.

“Kameda is a good fighter and I expect the very best from him. He better expect the very best from me. This is life changing, whoever wins this fight gets propelled up a few levels.”

Before finally setting foot in the ring to take on his astute Asian counterpart (5/2 to win by KO), McDonnell has already had to overcome plenty of troubles. It began when the WBO initially shelved plans for the bout to be a title unification encounter.

The organisation claimed they did not fully recognise McDonnell as the WBA champion because of Juan Carlos Payano’s status as ‘super champion’. Therefore, Kameda was forced to relinquish his WBO crown in order for the fight to be agreed, with the clash set to be a non-title match-up.

As well as these complications, the British world champion’s tour bus, which was carrying his camp, broke down and was stranded in a remote location en route to their destination.

However, the determined Doncaster bruiser (8/1 for KO win) declared his progression as an all-round fighter, stating he will finally showcase his in-ring credentials against Kemeda.

“My losses were six years ago and I didn’t even really believe in myself at that time. I’ve gone through every experience that you can in that time and I bring everything to the table,” he continued.

“Fans can expect to see a lot of heart. I can take a punch, I can give a punch. It’s an interesting fight and it’s a chance for me to showcase what I’m all about on this great stage here in America.”

Despite being a two-time world champion, McDonnell hasn’t received the recognition he deserves, with his triumph over Julio Ceja in 2013 not gaining its deserved coverage and his win over Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat on the Carl Froch and George Groves second instalment undercard going virtually unnoticed, after such an enthralling ending to the main event.

The underestimated fighter now has the deserved grand stage to make a statement on, though, and the perfect platform to impress against one of the biggest names in this division. British-hope McDonnell will enter the ring as a huge underdog, with Kameda a heavy odds-on 4/11 favourite to triumph and Doncaster’s man a 7/2 chance to gain a points decision victory after 12 rounds.