By Ben Carey
Ian Napa will defend his British bantamweight title against Jamie McDonnell at the Brentwood Centre on Friday 22nd January.
The pocket-sized Napa, 31, will be making the first defence in his second reign as champion and will give away seven inches in height and eight years in age when he tackles the 5ft 8in challenger from Doncaster.
The flashy Londoner regained the title in October with a deserved majority points win over Gary Davies. It was a victory that saved the career of Napa (19-7) who had lost the European title earlier this year on points to Malik Bouziane.
Promoter Frank Maloney said: “Ian always seems to come back when he has suffered a defeat, but he cannot afford any more if he wants to reach world level.
“His European title loss against Bouziane was a shock to him. After that fight myself and Ian’s trainer Brian Lawrence told him he had to put more in to succeed. I cannot fault his application since and he proved himself once more by defeating Davies.”
McDonnell, 23, (12-2-1) has won his last four fights with three of his victories coming inside the distance. His only defeats were narrow points losses against Lee Haskins and Chris Edwards in a British super-flyweight title challenge.
The winner of Napa and McDonnell could earn themselves a European title shot following Malik Bouziane’s decision to vacate. France’s Jerome Arnould will contest the vacant EBU bantamweight against a still to be nominated co-challenger.
On the same bill Cheshunt’s cocky Ashley Sexton (8-0) faces fellow extrovert Usman Ahmed (6-2-1) in a clash for the vacant English flyweight championship. Former British super-featherweight champion Carl Johanneson (27-4) will also box for the first time since his defeat to Kevin Mitchell in March 2008.
Tickets for this show, priced £80 and £35 are available online at www.frankmaloney.com or by ringing 0871 226 1508