A bout with an unbeaten Japanese challenger in downtown Tokyo might represent the toughest test of his career but Doncaster’s world champion Jamie McDonnell is confident he has encountered the likes of Naoya Inoue before.
And he fully believes Inoue cannot say the same thing about him.
Doncaster fighter McDonnell is in Tokyo today to defend his WBA bantamweight title against the highly-rated Inoue, who has been installed as hot favourite.
Known as The Monster, Inoue has shown devastating power in stopping 13 of his 15 opponents to date and claiming world titles at two different weights.
But the 25-year-old’s power holds no fear for McDonnell, who won the WBA title at Wembley three years ago and has made six defences of it in three different countries.
“I’ve been in with kids like this before – but Inoue hasn’t been in with someone like me,” said McDonnell, 32, who weighed in half a pound lighter than his opponent despite his five-inch height advantage.
I’ve been in with kids like this before – but Inoue hasn’t been in with someone like me.Jamie McDonnell
“People gave me no chance against Julio Ceja or against Tomoki Kameda, saying I’d get banged out or I wouldn’t cope with their power.
“I beat them both. I beat Kameda twice and schooled him the second time. I’ve dealt with bangers in the past and come through. I know that.
“Inoue hasn’t fought anyone of my size, who is going to tower over him.
“He doesn’t know what that will be like. He’s going to come out strong from the start.
“He’ll be a tornado and I’ll have to deal with that. But what is he going to do when I’m still stood there a few rounds in and I start to jab him and take control? I’ve been there and done it.
“Inoue is a great fighter and he deserves respect. But he’s not had a test like me.”
The fight starts at 1pm.