Saturday, December 09, 2023  |


Javier Chacon replaces Walberto Ramos vs. Jamie McDonnell

Fighters Network

RING No. 9-rated bantamweight Jamie McDonnell will face Javier Chacon on the undercard of Saturday’s main event featuring the rematch between Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew at the sold-out Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.

A 33-year-old from Argentina, Chacon (20-2, 5 knockouts) has replaced Walberto Ramos (23-6-2, 16 KOs) due to Ramos’ visa issues in Columbia, according to a release from promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport.

Chacon is coming off last month’s 10th round technical knockout of Carlos Ruben Dario Ruiz to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to then-WBA titleholder Anselmo Moreno in March.

McDonnell (24-2-1, 11 KOs) already has signed to face RING No. 8-rated WBO beltholder Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19 KOs) next year should he win on Saturday.

McDonnell, 28, is coming off a 10th-round stoppage of Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat in May for the WBA’s “regular” title but THE RING recognizes No. 2-rated 118-pounder Juan Carlos Payano as the WBA beltholder. Payano dethroned long-reigning RING No. 3-rated Moreno by sixth-round technical decision in September.

The card will be headlined by the return bout between Cleverly and Bellew, with other fights being those featuring RING No. 3-rated junior featherweight Scott Quigg against Hidenori Otake of Japan, and heavyweight Anthony Joshua, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, fighting Michael Sprott.

Also being matched are RING No. 5-rated super middleweight James DeGale, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist, and title challenger Marco Antonio Periban, RING No. 4-rated 168-pounder George Groves opposite left-hander Denis Douglin and super middleweight Callum Smith against title challenger Nikola Sjekloca.

Since rising into the cruiserweight division, Cleverly, 27, has registered knockout victories over Shawn Corbin in the second round and Alejandro Emilio Valori in the fourth in May and July, respectively.

With the wins, Cleverly rebounded from being dethroned as WBO light heavyweight titleholder in a fourth-round stoppage loss to Sergey Kovalev in Aug. 2013.

Bellew is 6-1-1 with four knockouts since losing by majority decision to then-WBO titleholder Cleverly in October 2011 at Echo Arena. But since moving to cruiserweight, Bellew has scored knockouts over Valery Brudov in the 12th round in March and Julio Cesar Dos Santos in the fifth round in July.

Bellew, 31, last suffered defeat by sixth-round stoppage to RING light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson last November.

Also in action will be undefeated junior welterweight prospect Bradley Saunders, who has signed a long-term promotional deal with Hearn, and German super middleweight Vincent Feigenbutz, a once-beaten fighter who has registered nine consecutive stoppage victories.