Jamie McDonnell will now face Darwin Zamora in an IBF bantamweight title eliminator in ‘This Is It’ on Saturday night, October 20, live on Sky Sports, replacing Vusi Malinga who was forced to withdraw after a suffering an injury in sparring.
Nicaraguan Zamora is the current WBA Fedecentro super flyweight champion and the 24 year old carries a 21 win record from 29 fights with 18 wins by KO.
McDonnell and Zamora meet as the chief support bout to Kell Brook’s own IBF welterweight title eliminator against Hector Saldivia, and the Doncaster man insists the change of opponent will not affect his focus on the biggest fight of his career.
“Malinga is a southpaw and Zamora is a southpaw,” said McDonnell. “For this camp I had trained for a southpaw and, even though it wouldn't have been a problem to get an orthodox opponent, a southpaw is what we have been working towards. I have been sparring with lots of southpaw lads from the gym.
“Since the last fight I have just been ticking over in the gym. I would have liked to have been in the ring in that time. Personally, I like to have three or four weeks out and then get back into the gym, hitting it hard and preparing for the next fight but that hasn't been the case and I had more time out than I would have thought. I enjoyed some time off but as soon as I got the call about this fight I pulled my finger out and knuckled down.”
Brook and McDonnell’s World title eliminators are part of a fantastic night of action in the Steel City with Robin Reid and Kenny Anderson meeting for the vacant British super middleweight title. Team GB stars Kal Yafai, Scotty Cardle and Martin J. Ward continue their pro educations while Yorkshire pair Tyrone Nurse and David Howe also box and Middlesbrough’s Danny Phillips makes his pro debut.
Tickets for ‘This Is It’ are on sale now priced at £30, £40, £60 and £100 from the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield box office on 0114 256 5656 and at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.