UNFAZED would be the best word to describe Jamie McDonnell ahead of his fight this weekend.
The treble bantamweight champion, aged 25, defends his European crown against Spain’s Ivan Pozo at Hillsborough Leisure Centre on Saturday.
The build-up to the fight has hardly been ideal. First there was speculation that McDonnell was about to up sticks and re-locate to Peterborough to train. Then McDonnell has had to contend with six different dates and three different venues and is now onto his second opponent after Malik Bouziane failed a medical earlier this month.
All those factors have meant alterations to training as trainers Stefy Bull and Dave Hulley have had to ensure he hits peak fitness for the bout. Ticket problems have also been an issue with the different venues while new tactics have had to be devised for new opponent Pozo, himself a former European champion at flyweight.
McDonnell, though, hasn’t let it affect him.
He said: “Pozo’s not that much of a worry because I’ve been sparring with Paul Ecomindes and he’s aggressive and a similar height to Pozo.
“People walking towards me suits me best and I’ve performed great in them sort of fights.
“Everything’s set now. It was all up in the air with the dates and everything and the whole thing about me moving but I’m as fit as I’ve ever been and confident that I’ll put on another strong performance.
“I’ve got to have a good look at Pozo, see what his best punch is and learn how to combat it. From what I remember last time, though, (McDonnell was set to fight Pozo ahead of his fight with Stephane Jamoye) he’s similar to other people I’ve fought.”
Bull is urging McDonnell to put in a professional display, saying: “Jamie’s been in training camp a long time and it’s been a nightmare with all the date changes. One week we’re giving him time off, then we’re having to rush him back in but it does happen in boxing.
“Jamie’s got to focus on Pozo because he’s strong, solid and been in with really good kids in the past. He’s a completely different proposition to what Bouziane was and Jamie’s got his head around it. The fact that Pozo is strong has put a bit of fear into Jamie because he didn’t have much with Bouziane.”
Connor Nixon, Ste Mac, Tommy Coward, Robbie Barrett, Andy Townend, Charlie Thompson and Jamie’s twin brother, Gavin, all fight at Doncaster Dome on Friday.