Sheffield promoter Dennis Hobson claims Jamie McDonnell would still be world champion if he had stayed in his stable.
The Doncaster boxer won the IBF bantamweight title last May but was stripped of it in October following a contractual wrangle with Hobson. McDonnell wanted to align with promoter Eddie Hearn, who could offer Sky TV fights.
On Thursday, Hearn told The Star there were “exciting times ahead for Jamie” - despite the collapse of a proposed IBF eliminator fight with American Randy Caballero, because of the on-going legal impasse with his former manager.
Hobson scoffed at Hearn’s view saying: “If Jamie was still with me, he’d still be world champion. Look at his last two fights. One was against a flyweight midget (5ft 2ins Bernard Inom) and the other one was equally shocking performance. They were two-bob.
“I mentored Jamie’s career, like I did with Clinton Woods, and was £200,000 down after his big world title night. If he’d stayed with me he wouldn’t be in the position he is now. I could put him in with Stuart Hall (Darlington’s IBF champ) tomorrow. Me and Jamie got on great. Now he could be a forgotten man.”
*McDonnell’s brother Gavin competes for the vacant British super bantamweight title against Nottingham’s Leigh Woodtonight, at the Ice Arena, Hull.
*Meanwhile, Woods is raising funds to extend to his Westfield gym. He will auction his gloves, ring entrance robe and original fight gloves at an “Evening with Clinton Woods” at Sheffield Wednesday on March 21.
The kit was worn in 2006 in his second title defence, against Jason DeLisle at Ponds Forge. Woods said: “We have to make the gym bigger; it’s packed with kids from the estates. We need space for a second ring and more bags.”
Woods spent £140,000 to get the project in Carley Drive off the ground and said video at thestar.co.uk: “This memorabilia has been in my loft for ages. It might fetch a few quid to put towards the extension.”
Tickets for his event, ring DT Promotions (07857-966841) The night includes a Michael Bublé tribute act and comedian.