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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Jamie McDonnell should give the Monster a fright

Inoue may have to bide his time before taking victory

Naoya Inoue lands a punch on Yoan Boyeaux in their WBO super-flyweight title fight in Yokohama in December
1 of 1

WBA world bantamweight title
Sky Sports Action, 1pm Friday

Japan has a long history of mutant movies and Yorkshire lad Jamie McDonnell will find himself centre stage of his own creature feature when he steps into the unknown against 'The Monster' Naoya Inoue in Tokyo on Friday. 

Standing just 5ft 5in tall Inoue is somewhat shorter than Godzilla - and more importantly five inches below McDonnell - but he is considered to be one of the most exciting pound-for-pound talents on the planet. 

If he wins he will be a three-weight world champion after just 16 fights having already taken titles at light-flyweight and super-flyweight, and he usually puts on a show with 13 of his 15 wins coming by knockout. 

This is McDonnell's seventh consecutive defence of his world title and he is undefeated for ten years. But he faces a situation when he has been pretty much written off by bookmakers, who rate him a 5-1 underdog.

It certainly looks like the toughest test of McDonnell's career, but his trainer Dave Coldwell says he is extremely motivated by the challenge and is in the best condition he could possibly be in.

Victory over Inoue would propel McDonnell into boxing's elite bracket in terms of profile and earning potential. It's unlikely to be easy for him in Japan, but he will pose problems that Inoue hasn't faced before. 

McDonnell has plenty of experience fighting abroad, he is much bigger and stronger than anyone Inoue has faced and he has never been stopped in 32 professional fights. 

With that in mind, odds of around 1-2 that Inoue stops McDonnell look far too short. 

This is Inoue's first fight at bantamweight and there is no guarantee that he will carry his power up to this level against a much bigger fighter. 

That said, Inoue is an exceptionally creative boxer with a superb repertoire of punches, and the taller McDonnell will have to be wary of protecting his body as vicious attacks to the mid-section are one of The Monster's trademarks. 

But McDonnell will be well prepared, and while the belt may stay in Japan he looks good value to at least hear the final bell. 

N Inoue on points
1pt 10-3 general

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If Inoue wins he will be a three-weight world champion after just 16 fights having already taken titles at light-flyweight and super-flyweight
E.W. Terms
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