Doncaster boxer Jamie McDonnell will make the fourth defence of his WBA world bantamweight crown against former IBF super-flyweight champion Juan Alberto Rosas at the O2 in London on April 9.
The 30-year-old is coming off a pair of decision victories over the highly-rated Tomoki Kameda in the United States last year and will fight for the first time on home soil since beating Javier Nicolas Chacon in his first defence in November 2014.
McDonnell, who captured the vacant strap with a stoppage win over Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat two years ago, knows he will have to be at his best against his Mexican opponent in a bout that will be on the undercard to Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title fight against Charles Martin.
“I cannot tell you how good it feels to be back fighting in the UK,” said McDonnell. “It has been a long-time coming.
“Training has been perfect, I am feeling a million dollars and I am looking forward to putting on a great performance and showing everyone what I am about.
“I have had a full-camp, I have been in the gym for 20 weeks and I have known for the last eight weeks that I would be on this show, so we have been training towards April 9 for a while.
“Rosas has won world titles before. He will bring a lot to the table. He is only 31 so he will still be hungry and he will want it. I hope we can put on a great fight and I am 100 per cent confident that I can beat him.”
McDonnell has won 27 of his 30 professional contests and is on a 19-fight winning streak.
With McDonnell holding the WBA’s ‘regular’ title, the Yorkshireman would be eager to set up a bout against its ‘super’ champion Juan Carlos Payano although IBF titlist Haskins and WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka are other options later in the year.