Boxing: I’m living the dream, says Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell

Confident: Jamie McDonnell expects to be crowned world champion. Picture: ANDREW ROE.
Confident: Jamie McDonnell expects to be crowned world champion. Picture: ANDREW ROE.

‘Dream fight, dream venue.’

That is the verdict of Jamie McDonnell after his world title bout was confirmed for the Keepmoat Stadium.

The Hatfield bantamweight will go head to head with Mexican knockout king Julio Ceja for the IBF title on May 11.

And with the dream of fighting for a world title in his home town realised, McDonnell is focussed on making the dream of becoming Doncaster’s first world champion a reality.

“This is undoubtedly my dream fight at a dream venue,” McDonnell said.

“I’m over the moon to get this fight at the Keepmoat and it means everything to have this fight in Doncaster.

“I’m going to make the dream come true on May 11, win the fight and win the world title.

“It’s been a big boost to get this here and it’s just what you need to spur you on.

“It’s spurred me on 200 per cent and I want the people of Doncaster to get behind me and sell the Keepmoat out.”

Around 9,000 tickets will be available for the bout, going on sale this morning at 10am.

Half the Keepmoat pitch will be fenced off with the ring placed in front of the north stand.

And plans are already afoot for a special walk on for McDonnell.

But it could have all been so different.

A week ago, McDonnell was told he would have to travel to Mexico to fight Ceja who has knocked out 22 of his 24 opponents so far.

He said: “The thought of going over there didn’t faze me but it’s not what you want.

“It’s hard to get a decision out there, especially against a tough kid who will be hard enough to fight without his home crowd behind me.

“But Dennis Hobson has pulled it out of the bag to get the fight over here.

“And what a place to have it. I’ve had a little walk around and it’s massive. It’s going to be a massive event and we’re all buzzing about it.”

McDonnell confirmed he had accepted a smaller purse than he would have had he travelled to Mexico, such was his desire to fight at home.

He said: “All I’m concerned with is winning this fight.

“After that, I can chase the money. If you want to fight in your home town, you sacrifice things. But if I can’t win the title here, where am I going to do it?”

n Hobson’s gamble: P41.