Promoter Frank Maloney believes bantamweight Jamie McDonnell could be world title bound after springing two major upsets this year. McDonnell, 24, has hometown advantage when he makes the first defence of his European bantamweight crown against Italian Rodrigo Bracco (11-2) at Doncaster Dome on Friday. The fast rising Yorkshire ring star (14-2) shocked Ian Napa to become British and Commonwealth champion in January and caused an even bigger sensation two months later travelling to France and knocking out Jerome Arnould to snatch the Euro belt.
Maloney said: “I have been completely won over by Jamie’s displays against Napa and Arnould. He looks a top prospect, is fit and improving with every fight.
“I will be startled if he doesn’t get voted Britain’s Young Boxer of the Year in a few months time after his recent performances.
“There are some tremendous bantamweights around at world level, but they are all beatable.
“WBC and WBO champion Fernando Montiel is the standout, but he has lost a couple times and has been around for about 15 years.”
McDonnell has just gatecrashed the WBC top 20 and is primed for a top ten spot in their rankings later this year if he defeats Bracco and then mandatory challenger Carmelo Ballone who is ranked eighth by the world governing body.
Maloney added: “Although Jamie will not be overlooking Bracco, he has the beating of Ballone who I have put on before.
“In recent years Duke McKenzie and Robbie Regan have held the WBO belt and next year I believe Jamie can emulate them and become a world champion.”
In the chief supporting bout former England Under-21 football international Curtis Woodhouse (13-1) faces McDonnell’s trainer Stefy Bull (29-6-1) in what promises to be a ten round light-welterweight battle.
There are still some tickets left priced £35 and £70 from www.frankmaloney.com and 0871 226 1508