Boxing: Jamie McDonnell set to defend world title against Naoya Inoue in Japan

Jamie McDonnellJamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell
Doncaster's Jamie McDonnell is on a collision course with fearsome Japanese fighter Naoya Inoue.

The reigning WBA ‘world’ bantamweight champion had been expected to move up at least one division.

But promoter Eddie Hearn is hopeful of lining up a world title defence againt Inoue - known as the ‘Monster’ - in Tokyo in May.

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“Jamie originally planned to move up after the Liborio Solis fight but this is a huge fight and he loves the idea of the challenge,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“Inoue has looked devastating at super-fly and it’s a tough fight for Jamie, but he wants to test himself against the very best out there.

“I’m hoping we can close this week.”

McDonnell is Britain’s longest-standing world champion.

Should the Inoue fight be made, he will be making the seventh defence of the belt he won back in 2014.

The Hatfield fighter is accustomed to travelling after back-to-back wins in America against Japan’s Tomoki Kameda.

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Two-weight world champion Inoue won the WBC light-flyweight strap in only his sixth professonial fight.

The 24-year-old is now an established super-flyweight star, making seven defences of the WBO version.

He has won 13 of his 15 fights by knockout, including victory over Antonio Nieves in September.