Jonson targets belter of show

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SUNDERLAND middleweight Jonson McClumpha aims to get his stop-start career back on track by picking up the first belt of his career at next month’s Summer Rumble.

The 23-year-old’s fight against Horden’s Greg O’Neill is one of the headline bouts at the annual fight night at the Stadium of Light, this year being held on Sunday, July 13.

And the eager McClumpha cannot wait to get it on in the wake of freak injuries and fight cancellations preventing his career gaining momentum so far.

“I’ve not had the best of luck with fights and opponents recently,” he told the Echo.

“And I can’t believe that I’ve been in training all year and this is my first fight of 2014!

“But it’s only a month away now and I can’t wait because, although I’m only 23, I’m not getting any younger in boxing terms and I need to crack on.”

McClumpha and O’Neill will fight for the vacant Northern Area middleweight title belt and McClumpha said: “It’s great for me that there is something like that to aim for because if you can get it then one title tends to follow another.

“I think it is easier to get a fight for another belt if you’re holding another one.”

Not that McClumpha is taking anything for granted when it comes to the dangerous O’Neill – a fighter he has a great deal of respect for.

“I’ve known him for a lot of years and he’s going to be a very tough opponent,” said the Wearsider.

“It’s not going to be one of those fights where you see me bad-mouthing someone beforehand, because the truth is I like him and I know he’s a very good boxer.

“I’m not looking any further than this fight at the moment because I know how difficult it will be, but that’s what I’m in boxing for.

“That’s the way it is.

“When Phil Jeffries puts fights on, he likes them to be exciting and likes them to be 50:50 fights and I think that’s what mine and Greg’s will be.

“It’s scheduled for 10 three-minute rounds and it might go all the way – I’m certainly going to train to go the whole 10 rounds.”