Jamie McDonnell on cusp of world class

Jamie McDonnell celebrates after stopping Ivan Pozo. Picture Trevor Price
Jamie McDonnell celebrates after stopping Ivan Pozo. Picture Trevor Price

TOP promoter Frank Maloney believes Jamie McDonnell will fight for a world title in his next two or three fights, writes Liam Hoden.

Maloney has promoted all McDonnell’s fights since he became British and Commonwealth champion two years ago – including his demolition of Ivan Pozo to retain the European bantamweight title last weekend.

And Maloney believes he will be promoting the Hatfield fighter (pictured) in a world title bout in the near future.

He told the Free Press: “I see no reason why Jamie shouldn’t be fighting for a world title in the next two or three fights.

“He needs to be facing a tough Mexican or something similar in his next fight to bridge the gap.

“There’s a big gap between the European and world levels but I think Jamie has the ability to make the step up.

“He’s the best bantamweight in Britain and has proven he’s the top dog in Europe, I don’t think there’s anyone who can stop him.

“People will sit up and take notice after what he did to Pozo and I think he’s well on his way to becoming a household name.”

McDonnell coasted to victory over Pozo inside two rounds at Sheffield’s Hillsborough Leisure Centre on Saturday.

And the 25-year-old told the Free Press he would not hang around for his next bout which he hopes will be a tougher test.

He said: “I was expecting at least a hard ten rounds.

“Pozo is world class but he’s only a small bloke,” McDonnell added.

“I want an international fight next, maybe an eliminator against a tough Mexican.

“I need to kick on and make that jump to the world level but I don’t want to hang about.

“I’ve had to sit around for six months which is way too long.

“I’ll have a week off but then I want to be straight back in the gym for an eight or nine week camp for another fight.”

McDonnell admitted he was surprised with how early his night ended on Saturday.

He said: “I honestly didn’t get out of first gear.

“I expected him to rush at me but he just took his time and ate that jab so I just worked off that, I enjoyed it.

“I started feeling a bit sorry for him – I don’t know why I do that.

“He was just eating them and I put a few stiff ones right on his nose.

“I stepped it up a little bit and I just found that body shot.

“As soon as I hit it I knew I’d hurt him but I expected him to get up.

“We’ve worked on body shots, not just to blast away but to pick them and that one felt sweet.

“To get an early stoppage was brilliant.”