After initially saying he would move up in weight in his last fight in 2017, former WBA "regular" bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell said he will move up in weight for real.
After McDonnell lost his title to Naoya Inoue on an ESPN+ card in Tokyo, McDonnell said he will move on and fight as a super bantamweight at least. McDonnell congratulated Inoue on his victory over McDonnell and wrote on social media that he will now focus on becoming a two-division world champion.
"Landed back in the UK. Thank You to everyone for your messages. Congratulations to Inoue, a great new champion. But as you seen from the fight it's time for me to move up and become a two-weight world champion," McDonnell said.
Inoue knocked down McDonnell early in the first round of their bout, but once McDonnell got back up, Inoue continued punishing McDonnell until the referee stopped the fight.
McDonnell had previously stated that he would vacate the WBA title in order to go up a weight class after his 2017 fight against Liborio Solis ended in a no contest. A decision on what weight class McDonnell will compete in has not been decided, meaning McDonnell could end up fighting as a super bantamweight (122-pound limit) or as a featherweight (126-pound limit).
Although McDonnell made weight for his fight against Inoue, McDonnell weighed in a reported 143 pounds on the day of the fight, 25 pounds over the 118-pound bantamweight limit McDonnell had to be the day before.