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Jamie McDonnell expects to prove his class against Naoya Inoue

McDonnell will be defend his WBA bantamweight title this Friday.

Boxing at The O2 Arena Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

WBA bantamweight titleholder Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1, 13 KOs) is well aware of the reputation of his challenger this Friday, Naoya Inoue (15-0, 13 KOs). After all, they don’t call Inoue ‘The Monster’ for nothing.

But McDonnell tells Sky Sports that he’s confident in his boxing ability and that he fully expects to prove that those skills are a class above the young Japanese fighter, and that’s why he’s willing to travel to Inoue’s home country of Japan to defend his strap.

“I have a good understanding that Naoya Inoue is a great boxer and a knockout artist, and he’s one of the best fighters in the world, pound-for-pound, but I can box with anyone.

“I do not think that Naoya Inoue has fought someone like me in his entire career. There is a difference in the boxing level between me and him.”

If there’s any uncertainty in this fight, it’s because Inoue will be making his bantamweight debut and unproven at this weight. That said, it’s largely expected that Inoue will be too fresh and too talented for McDonnell to deal with. Should Inoue take the WBA strap this Friday, he’s expected to join the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight tournament which begins this fall.