JONSON McClumpha can box or fight his way to an English title challenge.
That is the view of coach David Binns as trainer and boxer prepare for Saturday’s battle of the unbeaten middleweights against Lewis Taylor in Sheffield.
Victory over 10 rounds at Hillsborough Leisure Centre would earn a shot at Danny Butler’s English belt.
McClumpha goes into the bout as the slight underdog – he is undefeated in nine bouts with Taylor without a defeat in 15 appearances and having home advantage.
But Binns is confident the Sunderland boxer has got what it takes to beat his rival from Dronfield, near Sheffield.
The Peterlee-based trainer says there will be no concern over McClumpha doing the 10 rounds, having gone the distance in beating Jason Ball for the International Masters belt at the Stadium of Light in July.
“It was only given by two rounds, but I would argue that with anyone,” said Binns. “It was a very very comfortable win.
“It was the first time he had done 10 rounds that day and half of Jonson’s mind that day was focused on doing the distance.
“If Jonson goes out and unleashes on someone then he’s got every chance of stopping them.
“He hurts people when he hits them.
“But he didn’t actually let go that day on the Summer Rumble.
“I just kept him calm between rounds, he just went out and did his job and did it well.
“My main worry was that if Jonson gave them a gap into the fight they would get back in and get some momentum, but it never happened.
“I thought he boxed the lad’s head off, all day, there was no need to let him loose.”
However, Binns knows McClumpha could be let loose this Saturday should the situation warrant it.
Taylor has not lost in 15 contests but is not noted as a puncher.
All but one bout has gone the distance and has done 10 rounds in his last two appearances, the International Masters silver and IBO Youth middleweight titles.
But Binns says McClumpha’s success over the rugged Ball at Sunderland’s football ground is evidence the 24-year-old has the belief.
“His mindset was on the 10 rounds at the Stadium of Light,” he said.
“But now he knows he can do the 10 and have a bit of a go, I think we’ll have a different Jonson McClumpha next time out.”