Froch vs Groves II: Jamie McDonnell added to card in vacant WBA 'regular' title fight

Scott Heavey

Jamie McDonnell will look to regain a world title -- or something close to one, anyway -- on May 31 at Wembley Stadium.

Jamie McDonnell will face Thailand's Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat on May 31 at Wembley Stadium, with the vacant WBA "regular" bantamweight title at stake on the Froch-Groves II undercard.

"I am so excited to be fighting for a world title on the biggest boxing show in British history," said McDonnell in a statement from Matchroom Boxing. "I'm honoured to be a part of it and especially to be fighting to become a World champion again, I am absolutely flying with this news and it's going to be a great boost in training."

McDonnell (23-2-1, 10 KO) won the vacant IBF belt in May 2013 against Julio Ceja, but was stripped of the title for failing to fight Vusi Malinga, who was for no good reason whatsoever deemed the mandatory challenger. Malinga went on to lose to another British fighter, Stuart Hall, who still holds the IBF belt.

"It's been a full year since I last fought for a World title and it's been tough to be honest," said McDonnell. "I had a little taste of being a world champion, I loved it and it made me want it even more. Reaching the top of the world changes your life and I want to feel that again."

Anselmo Moreno, probably the best bantamweight in the world, holds the WBA "super" championship. The "regular"/"super" (not to mention "interim") titles of the WBA are well-established by now, so it is what it is, at the end of the day, like I said before.

Na Racahawat (52-2, 34 KO) has beaten a bunch of guys who can't fight, many of whom aren't even really fighters. It's the typical Thailand fluff record, but that doesn't mean he can't fight or won't be a live dog in this one.

"I don't know much about Na Rachawat and I will leave that to the team," said McDonnell. "His record says he can bang a bit and he is a come-forward fighter who is game, so it will be an entertaining fight as that suits me. I'm expecting to win and win well."

Promoter Eddie Hearn added, "I'm delighted to deliver this opportunity for Jamie on a huge night for British boxing. It's going to be a tough night for Jamie but no one deserves a shot more in the division and I'm excited about watching him win his world title back."

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