Wembley world title bout ‘once in a lifetime’ for delighted Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell is determined to make his ‘once in a lifetime’ Wembley world title fight the first highlight of a packed year.

The Hatfield bantamweight will face Thailand’s Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat for the vacant WBA regular world title on the undercard of the blockbuster rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves at the national stadium on May 31.

And that comes before his wedding and birth of his first child in the summer.

“I’ve been determined to win another world title since the other one was taken off me but everything else going on in my life has made me even more determined,” he told the Free Press.

“I want to provide for my wife and baby and winning this fight will do that. I can pay off the mortgage and set us all up for life.

“To have the chance to be a two time world champion is a massive deal for me and I’m going to make it happen.”

The 28-year-old has been out of the ring since December but insists the bout is worth waiting for.

And he says he can now firmly see the light at the end of the tunnel after he was controversially stripped of the IBF world title last October.

He said: “It’s been a difficult seven or eight months but it’s all looking up.

“Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have been absolutely brilliant with me and I can’t thank them enough.

“This opportunity is incredible for me. I’m probably never going to get the chance to box in front of 80,000 people at Wembley ever again.

“It’s the biggest show in British boxing history, certainly in the past 40 years.

“To be a part of that is huge. I’m delighted Matchroom think I’m worthy of being on the show.”

McDonnell has stepped up his training in earnest with six weeks to go after a couple of months of ticking over in the gym.

And he has already cast his eye on opponent Na Rachawat, who has stopped 34 opponents in 52 wins from 54 bouts.

“I’ve watched a few videos of the kid. He’s short and stocky and you can see that he can bang.

“He’s similar to Julio Ceja who I beat for the IBF title but he doesn’t bowl in like Ceja does.

“I know I can’t just stand there and trade shots. It’s going to be all about the movement for me.

“I’m confident I can do the job and bring the title home.”