Doncaster’s Keepmoat could host Jamie McDonnell world title bout

Dream bout: Jamie McDonnell wants to fight for the IBF title at the Keepmoat. Picture: Steve Parkin
Dream bout: Jamie McDonnell wants to fight for the IBF title at the Keepmoat. Picture: Steve Parkin

JAMIE McDonnell could be set to land a dream home town opportunity to become Doncaster’s first world champion, The Star understands.

Reports last week suggested Hatfield’s bantamweight king would have to travel to Mexico to fight Julio Ceja for the vacant IBF strap.

But a press conference – open to the public – will be held at the Keepmoat Stadium at noon on Friday where it is speculated that McDonnell’s promoter Dennis Hobson will confirm a UK venue and date, believed to be May 11 or 18.

And rumours suggest the venue could be the Keepmoat itself, hosting a huge Doncaster fight night under the stars.

McDonnell has long been determined for his title tilt to take place at his home stadium, a desire shared by Hobson.

And both were certainly keen to avoid an away trip to Mexico where visiting fighters have a notoriously tough time in earning a decision.

Their hopes look to have suffered a major blow last week when Ceja’s camp stole the march in the purse bidding process.

But there are unconfirmed suggestions Hobson refused to accept defeat and has managed to thrash out a deal to bring the bout to England.

Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena has also been under serious consideration as a venue but the Keepmoat looks likely to get the nod.

Former European champion McDonnell has headlined cards in his home town before but a potential Keepmoat fight night will be by far his biggest show in the spotlight.

And it would be the first time the Keepmoat has been used for such a sporting event.

McDonnell earned his shot at the IBF bantamweight with a stoppage of Darwin Zamora in a final eliminator last October.

Scheduled opponent Ceja is an unbeaten KO king, having stopped 22 of his 24 opponents so far.

The 20-year-old has yet to fight outside Mexico in his busy four years as a pro.