WBA “regular” bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell 29-2-1 (13) isn’t in Japan just to make up the numbers and pick up a pay cheque.
The 32-year-old from Doncaster, Yorkshire is focused on the biggest fight of his life when he takes on the precocious and ferocious former two-division world champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue 15-0 (13) at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo this Friday night.
Victory over the 25-year-old Japanese prodigy will open a lot of doors for McDonnell, who will be making the seventh defence of the title he won from Thai boxer Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat at Wembley Stadium four years ago.
“If I didn’t think that I was going to beat Inoue, I wouldn’t have been going to Dubai and spending a load of money,” McDonnell told the Sheffield Star, referring to the two-week trip he took to the desert mecca with his four-strong team and wife and daughter where he put the finishing touches on his preparation for the fight.
“It’s cost me an absolute fortune to take them all out.”
With Inoue already tentatively accepted into the new season of the World Boxing Super Series – with the eight-man single-elimination tournament set to feature the bantamweights and junior welterweights this year – a win could grant the lanky boxer-puncher a berth in the coveted competition.
It’s no wonder McDonnell has spared no expense in his preparation for this fight.
“I had to fly them all out and put them up for a fortnight. I’ve had to foot all of the bill. If I didn’t believe I could win, I would have just flown straight to Japan on fight week, gone in there and collected me money,” said McDonnell.
“But I do believe I can win. This is an investment.”
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