It has been confirmed how Jamie McDonnell will defend his WBA bantamweight title against feared puncher Naoya Inoue in Japan on May 25. British warrior McDonnell, a fighter who has never had things handed to him, will earn enormous credit if he can defeat the unbeaten puncher known as “The Monster.” In fact, McDonnell, who will be making the seventh defence of his crown, has already earned a ton of credit for agreeing to take this, one helluva dangerous fight.
McDonnell, 29-2-1(13) has never been stopped, he has ducked no-one and he has been (quietly) fighting top, top contenders for years – and almost always beating them. Inoue, 15-0(13) and already a two-weight ruler (WBC light-fly and WBO junior-bantam) seems to have a whole lot on his side going into this fight though. The power-puncher is the younger man at age 24 to the champion’s 31, he is fighting at home and he is, of course, the bigger puncher of the two. In McDonnell’s favour, aside from a complete lack of fear and an utter lack of reluctance to take the fight, is the fact that he is the taller man at 5’10” (a giant for a bantamweight) to 5’5” for his challenger.
The rewards will be huge for the Doncaster man if McDonnell can pull this one off. In fact, a McDonnell win would perhaps be looked at as one of the very finest “away” wins ever scored by a British fighter, topping even Lloyd Honeyghan’s win over Don Curry.
“@JamieMcDonnell travels to Japan to take on @Ringmagazine P4P No8 Inoue to defend his belt. Huge fight. Yes it’s a tough ask, but we’re not going for the culture! A win in Tokyo & finally Jamie becomes the star his achievements deserve,” trainer Dave Coldwell tweeted this week.
It promises to be a rough, tough fight for the defending champion, but we could be in for a great, great fight. In many ways it’s such a shame this fight will in no way get the exposure and coverage it deserves. But Inoue is indeed a Pound-for-Pound star, and a murderous puncher with an aggressive, fan-friendly style. McDonnell on the other had has raw courage, fine skills and an admirable desire to be the best. Hardcore fight fans cannot wait for this one.
McDonnell, who also held the IBF bantamweight title in 2013, last fought in November, in a rematch with Liborio Solis, this fight ending in a disappointing no-contest. Inoue last boxed in December, when he destroyed Yoan Boyeaux in three-rounds to take the WBO junior-bantamweight belt.