Jamie McDonnell set for world title defence in Monte Carlo
Jamie McDonnell admits he will have to be at his best to avoid slipping-up when he fights in Monte Carlo next month.
The Hatfield fighter will make the fifth defence of his WBA bantamweight title against Liborio Solis of Venezuela on November 12 at Salle des Etoiles in Monaco.
Solis is a former IBF and WBA super flyweight world champion and took top bantamweight Shinsuke Yamanaka the distance in March, twice knocking down Japan’s WBC champion.
“This is a really good test for me,” McDonnell told The Star. “It’s great to be fighting someone who I’m not expected to walk straight through.
“People will be expecting me to win but it’s not going to be easy.
“He can obviously crack a bit. He put Yamanaka down twice with the back hand so I’ll have to be switched on.
“I think he’ll suit me though. He’s only 5ft4, so I’ll be able to use my height.
“But I’ll have to be at my best. I can’t afford to go in there and not be right at it.”
McDonnell had been preparing to face WBA ‘super’ champion Rau’shee Warren in a mandated unification bout.
But former Olympian Warren distanced himself from the fight, saying he does not want it to happen until 2017.
McDonnell said: “It’s disappointing because we worked for the first six weeks or so on the fact we were fighting Warren but he doesn’t want it yet.
“It’ll probably come February or so as long as things go well before then.
“The WBA went down the rankings after Warren pulled out. Number one is Zhanat Zhakiyanov who Ricky Hatton trains but they didn’t take it and Solis was next.
“I’m just happy to be fighting. I’ve not been in there since April.”