WBA bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell’s next fight will be his last at his current weight before the Doncaster man heads up to the bustling super bantamweight division, according to manager and trainer Dave Coldwell.
In a chat over the phone on Wednesday, Coldwell told WBN that McDonnell is awaiting news of a possible rematch with recent foe Tomoki Kameda after an impressive victory over the previously undefeated Japanese boxer in Texas last May.
The 29 year-old overcame problems in the build-up to the State Farm Arena clash, coupled with an early knockdown in the fight, to graft his way to a unanimous decision triumph over the ex-WBO title holder who never lost his belt in ring.
Coldwell has begun training with McDonnell as they await more news from Al Haymon about the potential return, which the former fighter revealed will head back to the United States if an agreement can be reached in the near future.
“We are looking at Kameda and that’s the one that seems to be the most likely,” Coldwell told World Boxing News.
“Jamie McDonnell is back in training now at week one and we are just waiting on dates really. With the money that Al Haymon is paying out it dwarfs anything that is over in the UK, so if it’s the Kameda fight next it would be back in America.”
McDonnell has been campaigning at bantamweight for almost a decade professionally and Coldwell believes a move up to 122lbs can potentially bring about some massive domestic contests. Scott Quigg, who is managed by Eddie Hearn, and Irishman Carl Frampton, who fights on PBC this weekend, are both current world title holders at the weight and could be a natural progression for McDonnell once Kameda is out of the way.
“The Kameda fight is obviously the one we are concentrating on. It will probably be his last one at bantamweight as he is a big lad, so it will be his last one. Then, he steps up to super bantamweight and it just opens up a whole other level for him,” he stated.
“Like I said before, Quigg is the one that’s easier to make I would imagine, then there is obviously Frampton.
“Frampton is out there now with Al Haymon and if he wins and Jamie goes and beats Haymon’s Kameda twice on the trot, then Al might want to put them both together, you don’t know.
“As Frampton is a different level at the moment, I’d look at Jamie having a debut fight before that at super bantamweight, but it’s there and after (a debut) you’d go for something like that.
“The Quigg fight is the one we would target though and if you’re looking long-term it would probably be something like the summer of next year.
“Right now, we’ve got Kameda to worry about, and to beat first, which isn’t a given. It’s a tough fight and expect him to be even better this time around, but then again I expect Jamie to be better also, so it’s all to play for really.”
Asked whether Kameda (31-0 at the time) may have taken McDonnell lightly the first time around, Coldwell replied: “Kameda possibly underestimated Jamie the first time, but that cancelled itself out by what went on with Jamie.
“It certainly wasn’t the best preparation for him. Mentally, he did really well to do what he did out there and he’s won some big fans out in America. We’ve had a lot of good feedback since then. He performed really well and he shocked them all out there.
“Al Haymon and all those guys out there were expecting, and still are expecting, Kameda to be a big star in the sport so that’s why they want the rematch. As soon as I step out of the ring basically Haymon’s people were saying see you at the rematch so they still have big plans for Kameda.
“But if everything is right, and it’s nothing definite yet, in case it is we have got to start preparing for the fight now as I imagine it would be before October,” he added.