Busy end to year for Jamie McDonnell as lawyers open talks

Promoter Eddie Hearn is focussed on making McDonnell champion again
Promoter Eddie Hearn is focussed on making McDonnell champion again

There will be no waiting around for Jamie McDonnell as he attempts to become world champion once again, according to Eddie Hearn.

Lawyers representing the Hatfield bantamweight are meeting with officials from the IBF this week, disputing the organisation’s decision to strip him of his world crown.

And although they are hoping to secure the minimum of a first shot against the new holder of the title for McDonnell, he is focussed on an active end to a rollercoaster year.

Under the banner of Matchroom Sport, McDonnell has agreed to two fights in the space of three weeks, starting with an outing on November 23 in Manchester on the undercard of the Carl Froch-George Groves blockbuster.

Matchroom chief Hearn wants McDonnell to be in peak condition and form when the call for another world title shot comes.

“We wanted to have Jamie as active as possible before the end of the year,” Hearn told the Free Press.

“He’ll be in a 12 round fight on November 23 and then a ten rounder three weeks later on December 14 in London.

“We’re getting a couple of decent tests for him.

“They’re not going to be 50-50 wars but they’re going to get him back in the mix.

“He’s in great shape. I saw him last weekend and he’s looking very good, he’s training hard.”

McDonnell has yet to sign a contract with Matchroom but Hearn insists it is a mere formality which will come in the next month or so.

He said: “Our focus has been on moving quickly with Jamie and getting him these two fights.

“I work quite differently from most promoters in that I don’t tie fighters fown to 20-odd page contracts.

“You’re either a Matchroom fighter or you’re not.

“If you have any doubts about working with is then you’re free to leave because we only want people who are 100 per cent committed.

“A formal announcement about Jamie joining us will come over the next couple of weeks but we’re focussed on the fights first and foremost.”

Hearn believes McDonnell has been treated unfairly by the IBF with their decision to strip him of his title for failing to agree a mandatory defence.

And he is hoping lawyers can convince the organisation there has been wrong-doing.

Hearn said: “We feel he hasn’t been treated correctly with this decision.

“In the least we feel he should be granted a shot of the winner of the December 21 fight between Stuart Hall and Vusi Malinga for the title.”

McDonnell sparred with former super bantamweight world title contender Rendall Munroe earlier this week as he steps up preparations for his November 23 outing in Manchester.