By Jamie McDonnell
WBA “Regular” bantamweight champion, Jamie McDonnell 24-2-1 (11 KOs), has his sights set on unifications with Tomoki Kameda 30-0 (19 KOs) and Shinsuke Yamanaka 21-0-2 (16 KOs) next year.
BoxingScene.com revealed earlier this week that terms had been agreed for McDonnell to face Kameda only for the WBO to enforce their champion to face mandatory challenger Alejandro Hernandez, with that contest to take place November 1 in Chicago. Discussions are taking place between McDonnell’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Kameda’s advisor Al Haymon to schedule the fight for early next year.
“We’re training towards October 4th in Leeds but we are in talks with Al Haymon, who’s got one of the Kameda brothers, for a unification fight,” McDonnell told ‘Scene.
“Eddie is out there just now and has a few meetings lined up to see what they can do. I’ll speak to Eddie after the Kell [Brook] fight [against IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter] and see what he has to say.”
In the meantime he returns to the ring in Oct in Leeds making the first defence of the title he won by stopping Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat in the tenth round on the undercard of Froch-Groves II in May. Having previously held the IBF crown, McDonnell believes he is one of the best in the division and is desperate to prove it whilst adding to his collection of alphabet straps.
“I want to fight the best out there in unification fights so I can pick another belt up. I’ve got two of the belts and now hopefully I can get a third. I don’t mind fighting at Leeds, pick a decent payday up then hopefully fight in November or December so I can get a third fight in before Christmas then have that [unification] about March next year”
If he overcomes Kameda, then the 28-year-old would look to travel to Japan to face Shinsuke Yamakanaka, a fight that he has turned down once before. Prior to capturing his version of the WBA title, McDonnell was offered the chance to challenge him for the WBC strap but the money offered at the time was too low.
“They offered us it but we want to pick up a few more belts first. We knocked it back so they went looking about and got [Stephane] Jamoye. The kid won’t come over here so if we can get paid well, because it’s a risky fight, we’ll go but I want to notch up a few more wins first and get some cash in the bank before I do that.
“If I can pick up this WBO belt I’d happily go to Japan then I’d have them all. That would be a dream, I’d have three of the world title belts and there would only be that one left so that would be a no-brainer for me to go out there and have a crack at having all four at one weight.”