Blow to Jamie McDonnell’s title unification bid

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell’s attempt to unify world bantamweight titles is under threat after the World Boxing Organisation refused to sanction his next fight.

McDonnell is due in Texas on May 9 to face WBO champion Tomoki Kameda in what was billed as blockbuster unification fight.

But the WBO insist they will not give their blessing for the fight to take place due to the status of the Hatfield fighter’s WBA title.

McDonnell is the WBA ‘regular’ champion with Juan Carlos Payano the reigning WBA ‘super’ champion.

Manager Dave Coldwell says the fight will go ahead as planned on May 9, with US promoter Al Haymon handling the stumbling block.

But the WBO appear to be attempting to prevent the bout from taking place by threatening to strip Kameda’s world title should he face McDonnell.

WBO president Paco Valcarcel wrote on Twitter: “If any WBO title holder faces any champion from any other organism without our authorization, he is at imminent risk of being stripped.

“Not sure why there’s talk about Kameda-McDonnell. McDonnell not even ranked by WBO. The WBO recognizes Payano as the WBA Champ.”

WBO general secretary Jose Izquierdo added: “With organisms having more than one champion per division (i.e. interim, regular, super) WBO only recognizes the highest one as legit champ.”