On September 6th, WBA World bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, 12 KO’s) will travel to Texas for a second time in four months to defend his belt against Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19 KO’s).
The Doncaster man handed Kameda his first loss in their first fight in Hidalgo, overcoming a third-round knockdown to win a close unanimous decision.
This time they will head 160 miles north to the American Bank Centre in Corpus Christi, an unexpected trip for McDonnell and his team having originally believed the rematch would take place in New York City. However, back down south they go to the adopted home turf of the Japanese Kameda.
As with any way trip in boxing, there is always the lingering fear of undeservedly losing out to the home fighter on the cards. With their last fight being such a close encounter, McDonnell admitted his surprise at the verdict to iFL TV at a recent press conference to announce the rematch.
“The first fight, what close fight. At the end of the fight, I didn’t think I would have got the decision you know, but I got the nod and we’re back out there you know. So I think I’ve gotta do a lot more. I believe I’ve gotta stop him to make a real good statement. That’s my plan; I am hoping to stop him.”
“I am absolutely confident I’ll smash him this time.”
McDonnell had a very different idea for the road he would take after that unexpected win but as is often the case, the lure of hefty financial reward was too much to ignore.
“I wanna make a statement at bantamweight. I were gonna move up, beat Kameda then move up but Eddie [Hearn] has got the rematch in for some good money so we’re gonna stay down, beat Kameda and see. You know, I wouldn’t mind fighting the Super champion.”
“You don’t get much credit when you fight for the regular title.”
Juan Carlos Payano is a Miami-based Dominican with eight knockouts from 17 straight wins who won the Super belt last September and defended it once since. If McDonnell follows up a second win over Kameda by establishing himself at the top of the WBA heap, there can be little argument against him being the top man at 118 lbs. Maybe he would attempt to sew up the division against IBF champ Randy Caballero afterwards and reclaim his old belt.
All future plans hinge on a second win over Kameda. His proposal to move up to super-bantamweight would open up the purse strings because there would be big-named domestic rivals like WBA champion Scott Quigg and IBF champion Carl Frampton to contend with.
“If I get beat by Kameda I’m not gonna get paid half as much when I move up so I beat Kameda, move up, and hopefully there’s some big paydays out there.”
This fight is a huge ask for McDonnell. As the traveling champion, he will be well compensated and now has the opportunity to prove he has Kameda’s number with a second straight win. Worse case scenario; he loses and they fight for a third time. A win would put an already solid reputation beyond question and open up his options to pursue either the other belt holders in his division or those in the class above.