Jamie McDonnell to fight for WBA world title on Froch-Groves 2

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell will fight for his second world title on the undercard of the blockbuster rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves at Wembley.

McDonnell is set to face Thai fighter Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat for the vacant WBA regular world bantamweight crown on the biggest night for British boxing in decades, May 31 at the national stadium.

“I am so excited to be fighting for a World title on the biggest boxing show in British history,” said McDonnell. “I’m honoured to be a part of it and especially to be fighting to become a World champion again, I am absolutely flying with this news and it’s going to be a great boost in training.

“It’s been a full year since I last fought for a World title and it’s been tough to be honest. I had a little taste of being a World champion, I loved it and it made me want it even more. Reaching the top of the world changes your life and I want to feel that again.

“I don’t know much about Na Rachawat and I will leave that to the team. His record says he can bang a bit and he is a come-forward fighter who is game, so it will be an entertaining fight as that suits me. I’m expecting to win and win well.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn has been working for months on securing a world title shot for McDonnell and was keen to make such a bout on the undercard of the clash between Froch and Groves.

“I’m delighted to deliver this opportunity for Jamie on a huge night for British boxing,” said Hearn. “It’s going to be a tough night for Jamie but no one deserves a shot more in the division and I’m excited about watching him win his World title back.”

McDonnell’s clash with Na Rachawat joins a top-class undercard on May 31 with James DeGale MBE facing Brandon Gonzales in a final eliminator for the IBF crown contested by Froch and Groves while Olympic Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua faces a step-up in his sixth pro fight.

A further allocation of tickets will be released on sale soon and fans can register for updates at www.MatchroomBoxing.com

The WBA’s regular title was vacated in December by Japanese fighter Koki Kameda, who opted to move down to super flyweight instead of taking the mandatory bout with WBA ‘super’ champion Anselmo Moreno.

May will be a massive month for McDonnell and twin brother Gavin, who will defend his British super bantamweight title against Josh Wale on the 21st at a venue yet to be confirmed.