JAMIE McDonnell WILL face lethal Mexican Julio Ceja for the vacant IBF Bantamweight title.
Unbeaten Ceja – who has knocked out 22 of his 24 opponents so far – has long been expected to be announced as McDonnell’s opponent for the title clash after previous champion Leo Santa Cruz vacated to move up in weight.
While the fight has been confirmed by the IBF, a date and venue has yet to be announced.
The parties of the two fighters have 30 days to come to an agreement on those factors.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the fight will be put out for purse bids.
Both camps will be particularly eager to bring the bout to their home country. Hatfield fighter McDonnell will be keen to avoid a trip to Mexico where away fighters have a notoriously difficult time getting a positive decision.
Manager Dennis Hobson has said on several occasions he will attempt to bring his fighter’s title bout to the Sheffield Arena and look for a major defence at the Keepmoat Stadium should McDonnell be successful.
The 20-year-old Ceja has yet to fight outside his own country, most recently knocking out Henry Moldonado after five rounds last weekend.
Ceja possesses strong combinations and plenty of power as his superb KO rate will attest.
McDonnell has endured a frustrating four months of waiting since securing his title shot with a stoppage of Darwin Zamora in a final eliminator in Sheffield.