Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell will look to silence his critics by defeating Liborio Solis for a second time in Monte Carlo tonight.
McDonnell defeated Venezuelan Solis by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 last November in the Principality, cards that prompted Solis’ team to appeal the result and the WBA to order a rematch.
Twelve months on that wish has been granted with McDonnell and Solis squaring off for the WBA world bantamweight title at the prestigious Salle Médecin of the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
Thirty-one-year-old McDonnell has not lost for the best part of a decade, and became a world champion three-and-a-half years ago.
But he was left disappointed by those who questioned whether he actually won that first fight, prompting his desire to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind tonight.
“I thought I boxed well against him,” said McDonnell. “I knew it would be a tough fight but not as hard as it ended up being, I had to dig in a bit more but I was in control.
“I heard a lot of comments about it being tight and I was disappointed in them, I felt I ran the fight, there were tough spells and he caught me with some right hands and had good work-rate, but I dealt with him and never felt in danger and he didn’t hurt me. I thought I won by three or four rounds.
“I also know that I fought the wrong fight. I was sat on the ropes too much and I needed to be busier. I won’t be taking any chances. I want to go in there, look good and get the job done. A stoppage would be great.
“People can see it differently but I believe I cruised through it, then I came out and some people thought he nicked it. That gets you down but people are allowed their opinions – this time there will be no doubt about me being the winner.
“This will be the sixth defence and after I win I want to look for bigger things. Paul Butler is lined up for the winner and that could be a big fight, but Ryan Burnett is the WBA and IBF champion and that would be great and I could look to move up in weight.”
Solis said: “I’m fired up to show that he didn’t beat me. I’m not assuming anything though, anyone can have a bad night and maybe that was his bad night.”