English boxer Jamie McDonnell believes his army of supporters, and opponent Julio Ceja’s lack of a well-stamped passport, will be crucial in sweeping him to world title victory when the pair clash in his hometown’s Keepmoat Stadium on May 11.
The bantamweights go head-to-head for the vacant IBF crown on the pitch at the home of Doncaster Rovers Football Club, and Jamie is convinced Ceja’s first experience of fighting outside of his native Mexico will be a painful one.
“It’s a massive factor,” stated the 27-year-old. “It’s probably what will make me win the fight, having that home support behind me, cheering me on.
“He’s always had that in his favour and he’s not used to being out of his comfort zone, it’s all new to him. Having 9000 ‘Donny’ people screaming for me, it’s going to be intimidating for him.
“I’ve fought at the [Doncaster] Dome plenty of times and it’s a different buzz you get fighting in front of your own people. It gives you a massive boost and you don’t want to let all those ‘Donny’ fans down.”
Unbeaten Ceja will arrive in the UK with a fearsome reputation. The 20-year-old has knocked out 22 of his 24 opponents, with 15 of those wins coming within the first three rounds.
McDonnell, though, isn’t intimidated. The former British and European bantamweight king is convinced he has the beating of the South American hard-man, and is even hoping to finish the fight early.