Ready to go! Jamie McDonnell champing at the bit ahead of Liborio Solis rematch

Photo: Lawrence Lustig
Photo: Lawrence Lustig

Jamie McDonnell is champing at the bit ahead of tonight’s WBA title defence against Liborio Solis.

He has not fought since beating Solis last November.

The rematch was planned, then scrapped, then planned again. A clash with domestic rival Paul Butler also came and went.

But, along with his desire to set the record straight against Solis, the frustration has left him eagerly awaiting this evening’s rematch in Monte Carlo.

“I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt,” he said. “I’ve smashed every single target in this camp.

“It’s been a long one but I’ve been switched on from the start. I’ve been in the gym a lot this year and I’ve made the most of it.

“There has been a lot of frustration this year because nothing has really happened for me.

“Fights have come up and not happened. It’s taken a full year to get this Solis fight on but there’s been others in between.

“You want to be busy, especially when you’ve gone past 30 and you don’t really know how long you’ve got left as a fighter.

“It’s not happened for me but hopefully I’ll be a lot busier after this fight.”

For all the talk of what might be to come, McDonnell is fully focused on what he has got to do first. He knows beating Solis will not be as easy as what he thought 12 months ago.

But there is a real determination to get the job done in style this time around. And he has been in this position before.

Tonight’s fight will be the third rematch of McDonnell’s career. The previous two went well. Very well in fact.

He blitzed Wayne Bloy in three rounds to claim the English title in 2007, five months after labouring to a points win.

And in 2015 he cruised to a unanimous points win over Tomoki Kameda in Texas, after taking the win in their first meeting four months earlier by a single round.

“If it goes as well as the second Kameda fight I’ll be a happy man,” he said. “But really I want more than that.

“I want to look good in there and if the stoppage comes, that’s great.

“I’m not leaving anything to chance this time around.”