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McDonnell ready for Ceja on Saturday for IBF 118 lb. strap

By Phil Barnett, Press Association Sport (@barnettoPA): Jamie McDonnell has shrugged off Julio Ceja’s intimidating knockout record ahead of the pair’s world bantamweight title scrap on Saturday.Doncaster’s McDonnell steps up to the top level for the first time with a shot at the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt against an unbeaten Mexican who boasts a fearsome record of 24 fights, 24 wins and 22 knockouts.

However, the Yorkshireman – whose own 20-2-1 record only features nine stoppages – enjoys home advantage when they meet at the Keepmoat Stadium in his native Doncaster, as well as more experience against durable opposition.

“I did an interview with Mexican television and I told them that, yes, their kid’s got an impressive record and he’s knocked about 15 out in the first three rounds,” McDonnell told Press Association Sport.

“But he’s not been tested. He’s 20 years old. I’ve fought whoever has been in front of me like Stephane Jamoye who was 21 years old, a similar age, and Stuey Hall, a mature bloke who had won 11 and knocked nine out.

“I think I’ve been tested, served my apprenticeship and worked my way up there.

“This young kid has been handed a lot on a plate, although he’s got the perfect record which helps sell the fight. I tower above him so I’ll use the game plan to move and keep him at bay and I think I’ll look good in this fight.

“This kid’s got a good record but records are for DJs.

“I do believe I’m going to dust him and after six rounds it’s my fight and I’m going to stop him. As long as I don’t get caught with daft shots then I’ll be all right.”