IN-form Iwan Evans (@IwanEvans19) runs the rule over Sunday's fight between Jamie McDonnell and Tomoki Kameda. What's the bet Iwan?
Jamie McDonnell v Tomoki Kameda | Sunday 22:00 | Sky Sports 2
What's likely to become a regular occurrence over the next few years, boxing fans are treated to some live Sunday night action thanks to Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions. This week Britain's Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1, 12 KO's) defends his WBA Bantamweight title in a rematch with Japan's Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19 KO's) at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The first fight, which took place in May of this year, was an exceptionally close bout, with Doncaster's McDonnell taking a Unanimous Decision victory, albeit all three judges scored it 114-113 in his favour.
It was a superb performance from the Yorkshireman, as he was put on the floor in the 3rd round, as the Japanese boxer landed with a perfectly timed right hook. Kameda out-landed McDonnell 217 to 200 punches over the 12 rounds, but Jamie's work-rate was absolutely sensational throwing 868 total punches compared to Tomoki's 479, which is what gave him the edge in the final decision.
I have to admit that Jamie is one of my personal favourite domestic fighters, and was gutted not to back him at odds against in the first contest, but I won't be making the same mistake this weekend.
Another big performance is to come from ‘Mac', who has stated several times before that he's not a great lover of the sport, but has a fantastic will to win, and is simply in the sport to make as much money as possible. Anyone who watches McDonnell would be surprised he's not a big student of the sweet science however, as he's a technically brilliant boxer, who's made immense strides in the last few years.
Successive losses in late 2007 and early 2008 at a lower weight looked to have set McDonnell on the way to being a domestic challenger at best, 18 straight wins have followed since then however, which has seen him claim Commonwealth, British, European, IBF and WBA bantamweight titles in the process.
He holds as good a resume as any British active fighter, but gets very little credit, and even his first fight with Kameda was brushed under the carpet, as Sky Sports elected to show some live action from Birmingham, instead of his world title fight, which was taking place at the same time in the States.
What I really like about McDonnell though is he always seems to get the job done inside the ring. He always seems to start off slow, but gets better as the fight progresses, and his conditioning is always spot on.
He holds wins over some top fighters, most notably former IBF champion Stuey Hall, and Julio Ceja, the man who I backed to win the interim WBC super bantamweight in my column last week.
Kameda is one of three Japanese boxing brothers (one of which, Daiki, fights on the undercard), and held the WBO bantamweight title going into the first McDonnell fight, only to be stripped as Jamie wasn't approved as a challenger.
He's lost plenty of bargaining power in the space of a few months, and that could well make him a dangerous fighter here, but in my opinion there's too much change happening in the camp, as he's altered trainers ahead of this bout as well, now taking on the services of Las Vegas based Cuban Israel Salas.
It could be a potentially good move for him, but I think Kameda has a lot of work ahead of him to change the course of how this second fight is going to go. He was giving up three inches in height to Jamie in the first bout, and at times really struggled to get past the British stylist's jab, which he pumped it out at a rapid pace.
I've watched both of Kameda's last two fights, the first of which saw him struggle to a split decision win over 28-10-2 Alejandro Hernandez, and I don't think this is a guy who does anything brilliantly. He has got some speed, but Jamie was the better technical fighter in the first contest, and although he did knock him down, it should be noted that he's won just one of his four world title fights by KO/TKO.
Jamie has said that he could knock Kameda out in this rematch, I can't see that happening personally, as both are quite similar boxers, but I fancy Jamie will have a clearer edge in the second bout.
I'd be surprised if McDonnell made a mistake like he did in the first fight, trainer Dave Coldwell will really hammer home how important a good start will be here, and given how fit McDonnell is, I expect him to be the stronger down the stretch once more.
This could well be the Yorkshireman's last fight at bantamweight, he's out to make a statement, before maybe facing Scott Quigg in a huge domestic clash at 122lbs. I'm incredibly surprised to see the bookies have him as the underdog once again, and Ladbrokes are offering particularly generous odds of 11/8 on a win for the 29 year old from Doncaster.
Jamie McDonnell v Tomoki Kameda – Jamie McDonnell to win (11/8 Ladbrokes)