Jamie McDonnell is defending his world title on foreign soil again but does he get enough credit for what he has achieved?
Well The Panel, trainers, current and former fighters are in agreement and here’s why…
What Jamie McDonnell has done is brilliant. To become a world champion is something special but the way he
went out on the road and beat Tomoki Kameda back to back is something we rarely see.
For some reason he isn’t getting the big names and maybe he is too good for his own good in that respect. He’s a far more skilful fighter than people realise and is well-seasoned at world title level, and now nothing fazes him or worries him. Defending your world title in somewhere strange can be a bit daunting but not for McDonnell.
On the surface and the way he fights people have probably looked at him and thought taking him on wouldn’t have been that bad, but he is very deceiving. Jamie is much better than he actually looks.
The way he went over to America and beat Kameda showed he is that good. He works non-stop at a high tempo and because he is so big at the weight, 5ft 10in, it just works for him. McDonnell will not knock out with one punch but he will punch you 150 times per round, for every round, don’t worry about that.
For me, those two fights with Kameda summed him up: they were spectacular achievements. Trust me that Japanese lad can fight, a serious fighter I like to watch, but McDonnell’s back-to-back wins were brilliant. Beating him once was good enough and I was honestly worried when he agreed to the rematch, out there, but hats off to Jamie.
He has loads of courage, even more bottle and he is just relentless in his work. His skill set is almost as underrated as him, as well. People think he is just a workhorse and he does get stuck in, but I think he is very talented. He doesn’t waste his punches and his ringcraft is excellent. Him and his twin brother Gavin are such nice guys and Jamie is a great boxer. One of my favourite British fighters.
It is a crying shame he doesn’t get the credit it deserves. He should be a unified world champion. Everybody forgets that when he boxed Kameda for the WBA, he was supposed to fight for his WBO as well, but two days before it took place Kameda relinquished his belt because he didn’t want to pay the sanctioning fees.
Jamie should have been the WBO and WBA champion after that and on top of that, he had lost the IBF title before that, outside the ring. The way the title was manipulated away from him was similar to what happened to Tyson Fury. He should have all three belts and he is without a shadow of a doubt, the most under-rated Brit.
McDonnell is totally overlooked. It doesn’t help that he’s not really a fan of the sport and just goes in, does his job and gets out again and he’s probably not bothered. But we are and we should be. He might not care about his credibility or his standing in the sport, but he should be right up there.
Look at him, he’s a tall, skinny kid with a sun tan from Doncaster and you can see why people underestimate him but maybe they should stop and look at what he’s achieved. He’s come back from defeats, from knockdowns, he has been a world champion twice and that is not luck. His work ethic and character stand out to us boxers. I hope everyone else will see it.
Watch Jamie McDonnell v Liborio Solis on the Monte Carlo card, including Luis Ortiz, Stephen Smith and Martin Murray from 7pm, Saturday, live on Sportsclubsociety 2.