Relaxed McDonnell takes O2 fight in his stride

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell
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Jamie McDonnell is so laid back he is almost horizontal – and in the build-up to his latest fight that has served him well.

McDonnell will defend his WBA bantamweight title at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday, an outing which was only officially confirmed last Friday.

But uncertainty did not stop there for the Hatfield fighter.

Originally announced opponent Juan Alberto Rosas then pulled out over the weekend due to a sparring injury with Fernando Vargas drafted in at late notice to challenge for McDonnell’s title.

Half a dozen names have been on the table for McDonnell – who turned 30 last week – at various points over the last couple of months but he has taken it all in his stride.

“It’s not been ideal but I’ve just focused on me and getting myself ready for the fight, whatever it was going to be,” McDonnell told the Free Press.

“We’ve known for eight weeks that I was going to be on the O2 card but it wasn’t until last week that we knew for certain.

“You do try to forget about it and concentrate on training but you start wondering whether it’s going to be moved.

“Matchroom have got plenty of shows coming up over the next month or so. You start wondering a bit if they’re going to move you to Leeds or Liverpool or wherever.

“But it’s sorted now and we’re all ready for Saturday night.”

Such was the late notice that he would be facing Mexican Vargas, McDonnell is considering not watching any footage of the 41 fight veteran before they meet on Saturday night.

Vargas has won 29 of his contests, stopping 20 opponents and losing nine. He has not fought since last June when he beat Wilfredo Vazquez Jr on points over eight rounds. That was his first fight outside his native Mexico, taking place in New York.

McDonnell said: “I’ll probably not really look at any videos and just wait to see what he’s like at the press conference.

“Dave [Coldwell, trainer] will have a look and come up with a plan that I’m sure will do the business.

“I’ll just concentrate on me and what I’m going to do in there.

“I’m really sharp heading into this one so I’m really confident.

“It’s about getting the job done this weekend.”