By Phil D. Jay
Jamie McDonnell (19-2-1, 8KOs) has moved further to secure a world title shot at bantamweight after relinquishing his European title following four successful defenses of the blue belt.
The 26 year-old, who is ranked number one with the WBC, could be in line for a shot at world title holder Shinsuke Yamanaka in the near future and his move has led the EBU to push forward two ranked contenders to battle for the vacant belt.
McDonnell’s compatriot and former conqueror Lee Haskins has been put forward, along with former McDonnell opponent Stephane Jamoye, with the bout heading to purse bids on May 21st and Haskin’s manager Chris Sanigar is hoping to stage the contest in the UK.
“We will do everything possible to ensure the fight is staged in this country,” Sanigar told thisisbristol.co.uk.
"Obviously finding a venue in Bristol is going to be difficult – it has been a nightmare for the past 20 years – but we are confident we can at least give Lee home advantage somewhere in the UK."
Haskins, 28, took the Prizefighter crown last October to further enhance his reputation and holds a tight eight-round win over McDonnell in March 2008. The ‘Playboy’ is now set to challenge for his first European title and will go into the bout with the Belgian as favourite, with Jamoye losing out to McDonnell fifteen months ago in another close match-up.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net