Jamie McDonnell has his sights set on big, all-British fights with IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington, Kid Galahad or Carl Frampton.
Former WBA Regular and IBF bantamweight title-holder McDonnell (30-3-1, 13 KOs and 1 ND) is aiming to return to the ring later this year, having last boxed in June 2019. Doncaster’s McDonnell will be campaigning at featherweight and hopes to land a fight with one of the division’s marquee names next year.
“Josh Warrington is who I want to be targeting,” McDonnell told Boxing Social. “There’s [Carl] Frampton and Kid Galahad, they are still big money fights so that’s who we want to be targeting. There’s Josh Warrington, but by the time I’m ready for that crack, he might have moved up [in weight] himself.
“It’s going to be touching a year before I’m ready. I reckon a tune up fight in October, November then I’ll be ready in about February, March. He might have had one or two big fights by then and he might want to move up. They are the fights we are looking at, big domestic fights.”
McDonnell and Warrington have a good relationship outside the ring, having sparred each other in the past. However, for the chance to become a two-weight world champion, McDonnell is willing to put their friendship to one side.
“He’s my pal and that, but at the end of the day, it’s business,” he said. “If we’ve got to get it on, then we’ve got to get it on. I’d never sit and slag him or anything, he’s a great fighter, but at the end of the day, it’s business.”
McDonnell has endured a tough period in his personal life since he lost his WBA Regular bantamweight title to Naoya Inoue in May 2018. As such, he was unable to give training the required dedication. He realises at 34, and having been out of the gym for 12 months, that time is not on his side. Yet McDonnell remains confident that will be able to return to the top of the sport once again.
“Within a year, I think I’ll get a world title fight,” he said. “Josh is a tough fight. Me having the best part of two years out since Inoue, I had that tune-up fight where I trained for about eight weeks, but I’m not conditioned. I’ve not been in [the] gym constantly. It all depends what champion it is.
“As long as I’m on it, my head is on it and I’m fit and ready, I can beat anyone. I know I can.”