AS a fitting prelude to Jamie McDonnell’s European title defence, his gym mates will take centre stage the night before at the Dome, writes Liam Hoden.
Former Conisbrough pro Stefy Bull will promote his first show on Friday night with the bill packed with fighters he also trains and manages.
Twin brother Gavin McDonnell is looking for his fifth successive win as a professional while Hatfield’s Connor Nixon will be hoping to build on his blistering debut performance.
And there will be a professional debut for Woodlands middleweight Ste Mac.
McDonnell is set to meet fellow rookie Ashley Lane who has a win, loss and a draw on his record so far.
And trainer Bull has predicted a big year for the 25-year-old.
He said: ““If Gav comes through this fight alright we’ll be looking at stepping him up next time.
“He’s proved he’s an exciting fighter and that’s what people want to see.
“But he’s shown he’s got the skills that can help him win a title and I think he’ll do that.
“Gav’s improving all the time and we’re really excited about what he could do.
“He’s had a brilliant camp and his sparring has been top notch.
“He knows he’s in for a test because this kid has only had three fights and the only one he lost was because of a cut.”
Nixon faces tricky Glaswegian Ryan McNicol in his second pro bout.
Bull said: “Connor showed exactly what he’s about on his debut.
“He’s got the flashes of Manny Pacquiao in him because he’s lightning quick.
“We don’t want to rush with him because time is on his side but we’ve lined up a tough test for him.
“McNicol doesn’t roll over and Connor won’t have it all his own way.
“And the kid is coming in with confidence because he’s not lost in the last two.”
Former Royal Engineer Mac – real name Steve McIntosh – boxed for the Army as an amateur and will make his pro bow against Steve Spence.
Bull said: “Ste Mac is a big and powerful middleweight and I’m excited about seeing what he can do in there.”
Also on the bill will be Rossington’s Maxi Hughes who will look to stretch his 100 per cent record against unbeaten Ronnie Clark.
Hughes has impressed on the run to six straight victories but will face a tough test from Clark who has forced two stoppages in his three wins.
Full card (all 4x3 unless stated): Tommy Coward v Jay Morris (6x3); Ste Mac v Steve Spence; Andy Townend v Evgeni Geshev; Gavin McDonnell v Ashley Lane; Connor Nixon v Ryan McNicol; Maxi Hughes v Ronnie Clark; Joe Rodgers v Pavels Senkovs; Robbie Barrett v Kristian Laight.
* Reporter Liam Hoden will be at the Dome on Friday night. For updates follow @liamhodenDFP on Twitter.