Boxing: What next for Jamie McDonnell?

Jamie McDonnell is preparing for his rematch with Liborio Solis
Jamie McDonnell is preparing for his rematch with Liborio Solis

A lack of fights in 2017 may have put the brakes on his bid to dominate at bantamweight but Jamie McDonnell says he is not necessarily done with the division.

McDonnell was widely tipped to have moved up to at least super bantamweight by the end of this year.

But he was also expected to have been much more active than he has – his WBA title defence on November 5 will be his first fight of the year.

Though many pundits are speculating his rematch with Liborio Solis in Monte Carlo will be his last in the division, McDonnell himself says it is not a foregone conclusion.

“We’ll have to see what happens,” the Hatfield fighter told the Free Press.

“I’ve been absolutely flying in this training camp and I don’t think I’ve ever been on track with the weight as good as I have been.

“I’ve started with Danny Wilson at Sheffield Hallam University doing some strength and conditioning work and that’s really doing the business.

“I’ve got a new nutritionist through Danny as well and that’s been bang on for me.

“We’ll see how it goes over the next couple of weeks before I weigh in but at this point I’d be more than comfortable staying at bantamweight.

“There are some good fights at bantamweight.

“Paul Butler is lined up for the winner of me and Solis but there’s also the winner of Ryan Burnett and [Zhanat] Zhakiyanov, which would be a good fight.

“We’ll see what comes up.”

Burnett and Zhakiyanov will meet in Belfast on Saturday to unify the IBF and WBA Super titles.

Before any talk of future meetings can begin in earnest, McDonnell has a fight with Solis to take care of – something he is not taking for granted.

The rematch between the two was ordered after an outcry over judging of the first fight, which gave McDonnell a comfortable points triumph.

And McDonnell is determined to ensure there will be no controversy on November 4.

He said: “I can’t look past this fight because I know what will happen if I don’t take him seriously.

“I thought I’d done enough to win the first one but I also know that I fought the wrong fight.

“I was sat on the ropes too much and I needed to be busier.

“I won’t be taking any chances. I want to go in there, look good and get the job done. A stoppage would be great.”