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JJ McDonagh tells Jake Ball he “should be ashamed of himself” following rematch comments

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JJ McDonagh [14(7)-3(1)] has finally had a date confirmed for his return to the ring, but he has been forced to put the fight he craves on the backburner.

The Mullingar puncher will fight on a Dove Box Promotions card at the York Hall on Sunday July 23rd as he looks to begin a new chapter of his career.

The reigning Irish super middleweight champion last fought in November, sensationally stopping Matchroom light heavyweight prospect Jake Ball inside a round to win the WBA International title. McDonagh’s calls for a higher-profile rematch would fall on deaf ears however, and the Westmeath man is now ready to move past the English prospect.

That said, while focus is now on July 23rd, the issue of Ball [9(8)-1(1)] remains an annoyance for McDonagh – especially in light of some recent comments from the Londoner.

While injury and fights falling through have seen McDonagh inactive since his highlight reel KO, Ball has been on the comeback trail and claimed two stoppage wins.

In the aftermath of his most recent win at the start of this month, Ball would argue that he doesn’t need to rematch McDonagh, and that the Irishman is merely looking for a payday.

McDonagh commented how ‘‘I saw Jake Ball’s interview with IFL TV saying he doesn’t need me and that he’ll bate the head off me. Listen, I don’t need to fight Jake Ball, I already beat him and made a balls of him.”

“He should be ashamed of himself saying that he’ll bate the head off me. I destroyed him. Over the ropes, it was like the royal rumble. He was on the ground for over seven minutes, I felt sick, I thought I had really hurt him.’’

“The only way his team will know if he’s good enough to progress is if he can beat me. Eddie Hearn said before the last fight that if he couldn’t beat me he couldn’t go on to challenge for world titles. He needs me.’’

“Every one of his opponents never tried to hit him, I said it before the last fight and told him that I would be different. Since he’s come back, the opponents have been the same.”

“The plan was never to go to light-heavyweight. We got the call on four days notice, I was up at the light-heavyweight limit, and I believed I could win the fight. I have never turned down a fight. I may not have been training but it was no fluke. What I did was what I was meant to do.”

“I wouldn’t like to imagine what I’d do to Jake Ball now that I’ve been training.”

McDonagh and his team are now targeting fights at lower weight, however he admits that his door is always open to a Ball rematch, not that he has any confidence that ‘The Blade’ will come calling

‘‘If he wants the fight all he has to do is pick up the phone and I’ll be delighted to bate the head off him again,” said McDonagh.

“I’ll always be able to knock him out. I just hope he can give over the talking; I don’t like bad mouthing him.”

“I don’t like people talking about me unless they want to fight me. Simple as that.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie