Jamie McDonnell is expecting the toughest fight of his professional life, when he defends his European title against the mandatory challenger Stephane Jamoye.

The Doncaster bantamweight starts the 2011 boxing calender off tonight against the dangerous Belgian Jamoye, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1 from 8pm.

McDonnell had a scare at the weigh-in for the fight, when he came in 2lbs over the limit. At the suggestion of promoter Frank Maloney, McDonnell removed his under pants but was still over.

He was given an hour to shed the extra pounds and came back to make the weight bang on, saving any blushes from team McDonnell.

Jamoye, a former WBC World Youth champion and has lost just once in 20 fights, that was against unbeaten Japanese prospect Tomoki Kameda, who out-pointed him in August last year to take his title. 

McDonnell was one of British boxing’s success stories in 2010, winning the British and Commonwealth titles against Ian Napa and then going to France to take the European belt from Jerome Arnould, in an hatrick of domestic success in quick time.

Jamie McDonnell weighs in for the fight

But the 24-year-old knows that against Jamoye that his work will be cut out for him and acknowledges the threat posed by the challenger.

“I’m going to be up against it,” he told  Sky’s Ringside program. “This kid’s young, he’s only 21, he’s going to be fresh and he’s coming to take the title – but I’m telling you he’s staying with me.

“The kid is really good. He was the WBA youth champion, a really good amateur and has had 20 fights in three years, so they’ve kept him active.

“He’s going to be game and I’ve got to be on the ball on Saturday night. But I’m going to blitz him!”

McDonnell though, still has unfinished business here in Britain.

Stuey Hall has claimed the title he was forced to give up and with an 11-0 record is emerging as another domestic star in the 118lbs division.

And although he is not overlooking Jamoye and his European duties, the former champion is already looking at settling that domestic score.

“I had the British title but had to vacate when I moved onto the European,” he said.

“There’s no point in hanging around once you’ve got the British title – but I wouldn’t have minded a few more pictures with that British title!

“Hopefully, now Stuey Hall’s got that title, I’ll get a fight with him soon and win that back and have all three again.

On the undercard, McDonnell’s identical twin brother Gavin will be having his second professional fight against Welshman Chuck Jones and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of his hero sibling.

Gavin who boxed as an amateur eight years ago, gave it up after having just 5 fights. But the success of his champion brother in the paid ranks, has given him the boxing bug again and he hopes to follow in his footsteps.

Asked what Gavin McDonnell knew about his Welsh opponent, he said. “To be honest we don’t know much about him, all I know is that he is Welsh, small, stocky and game”

Terry Flanagan

Ian ‘Dappa’ Nappa was to make his ring return on the undercard of tonight’s fight against Terry Flanagan, on his mission to earn a rematch with Jamie McDonnell, who took his British and Commonwealth titles away in January 2010.

Nappa pulled out of his fight against the Manchester prospect last week, which left Flanagan searching for a new opponent.

It was to be a defining night for Flanagan against one of British boxing’s most gifted fighters of the modern day – and would have been a a good test for both, at very different stages of their respected careers. To see if Nappa still had it and could out fox the ambitious Flanagan? Or would Flanagan have had the blessings of youth and fitness on his side? We wont know now but that fight can still be made down the line.

After a scramble to get Flanagan another opponent for the Doncaster boxing show. Manager Steve Woods flew in durable Belgian Stoyan Serbezov.

Serbezov has never been stopped in a 19 fight career. He has boxed in the UK five times before, twice against Southampton’s Jon Fernandes, Lee Glover, Del Rogers and Willie Casey, taking them all the distance.

A stoppage win for Flanagan will be a good result and he hopes that 2011 will see him have more luck with getting the fights he needs to progress his career in the right direction.

“I was gutted when my trainer Steve told me he had pulled out with just a week to go before our fight”. said Flanagan.

“I’d worked hard on tactics with my coach and was really looking forward to facing Napa.

“But I wont let it bother me now and I will do a job on Serbezov, before moving onto bigger and better things in the coming months.” Flanagan added.

Former British champion Carl Johanneson (29-4) continues on the comeback trail and is up against South Shields George Watson (8-2-2) in an eight rounder.

This will be a warm up fight for Johanneson, who will challenge Manchester’s Anthony Crolla for the English super-featherweight title and eliminator for the Lonsdale belt on February 26th.

Carl Johansson vs Anthony Crolla Preview

Kieran Farrell in action courtesy of Kevin Finn

Busy Heywood banger Kieran Farrell, will look to maintain his unbeaten record, when he takes on a previous opponent  Jason Carr in his fourth fight in less than five months.

The 20-year-old, nicknamed ‘Vicious’ is unbeaten in seven fights and last fought in November. Claiming a 40-36 points victory over Kristian Laight over four rounds, to go twelfth in the British rankings

Farrell faced off against the tall Carr last September, out-pointing the 6ft plus Sheffield man over 6 rounds. Farrell won every round on his way victory and will be looking to carry on where he left off over four rounds this time out.

Farrell who will be giving weight away again against Carr told British boxers, that he has never felt better, having worked with nutritionist and former Ricky Hatton advisor Kerry Kayes from CNP.

“My trainer Bobby Rimmer, took me too see top nutritionist Kerry Kayes. So I have followed his nutritional advice for eight weeks and I have never felt better, said Farrell.

“In training, I have had no injuries or illnesses and in sparring I have been excellent. I feel that i can dominate anybody in the 130lb – 135lb divisions within the next twelve months.

“In 2011, I want as many fights as possible. I know I’m ready too move up in rounds and in opposition of a better quality. I’m only 20 but I’m coming into my third year as a professional fighter now.

“I’m a big fan of Juan ‘The Baby Bull’ Diaz and he was unified world champion when he was 20, so age doesn’t bother me. By the end of the year i want to be in the mix domestically. added Farrell. (British Boxers will be featuring Kieran Farrell this month)

Sheffield middleweight Liam Cameron (7-0) is one of British boxing’s most talked about talents and face Leicester’s durable Lester Walsh over six rounds.

Among the other hopefuls on the card is Sunderland’s big hitting Glenn Foot who bids to make it a hat-trick of first round wins when he face Birmingham’s Dee Mitchell (9-11) who has been stopped once in 20 fights. 

Making up the card will be  Josh Warrington vs Steve Gethin and Tommy Coyle vs Johnny Greaves. And Chad Gaynor, Danny Gerard, Dale Miles and Maxi Hughes all against respected opposition.

Tickets for this Doncaster Dome night of boxing, are priced £60 and £30 are available from www.frankmaloney.com and 0871 226 1508- Boxing starts at 6.30pm.

By Chris Maylett www.britishboxers.co.uk

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