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24 APRIL 2018

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McDonnell Battles Through

Jamie McDonnell retains (Pic: Javed Iqbal)
Jamie McDonnell retains (Pic: Javed Iqbal)

By Andrew Wake at ringside: Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell kept his world title aspirations on track and retained his European bantamweight crown but he didn’t half have to come through some hairy moments.

McDonnell, 24, scooped a deserved majority decision over tough and game Belgian import Stephane Jamoye at the Dome after 12 enthralling see-saw rounds.

During the early stages it looked like Jamie, who won his continental strap against the odds by beating Jerome Arnould on the road in France, might have met his match.

The Belgian, beaten only once in 20 paid outings, showed no fear from the opening bell and set a blistering pace. He flew straight at the champion, but McDonnell still took the first session on this reporter’s card by stepping back and countering to good effect.

But this opener far from set the trend for the remainder of the fight as in round two, Jamoye succeeding in getting off a barrage of heavy hooks and McDonnell had to use all his resolve to fight through the storm.

Rounds three through six were each tough affairs to score as both boxers fired off heavy artillery. The feeling, though, was that it the ferocious visitor that was gaining the upperhand.

McDonnell, spurred on by his raucous home support, began to move through the gears after the half way point. He bounced on the balls of his feet before getting shots off upstairs.

Unfortunately, it was at this stage that presence of referee began to become noticeable. He’d warned McDonnell for using his shoulder to Jamoye away a round previously and this round stopped the champion in full flow for reasons that remain unclear from ringside.

Round eight was a good one for the Doncaster-native. He beckoned Jamoye forward and connected with a flashy left-right salvo. Seconds later he again tested the challenger’s chin with a left hand down the pipe.

The next session also started brightly. McDonnell stunned his adversary but the Belgium’s confidence wasn’t dented and he stormed back with a trio of body shots.

The third man was again making himself enemy number one amongst the Yorkshire faithful in the penultimate session as he docked McDonnell a point for pushing. It seemed the Italian had totted up all the minor infringements Jamie had made earlier on and decided the time was right for punishment where most officials would have let it slide.
Jamoye knew he had to do something special in the final frame if he was to go back to his homeland with the coveted EBU title. And he fired shots with bad intentions, immediately getting off a weighty right hook.

McDonnell though met fire with fire and was a relieved but deserved victor when the bell sounded.

The scores were 115 – 113, 114- 113 and 114 – 114.

If one thing is for certain it is that both combatants earned their money. Sadly, that cannot be said for the Italian referee who had a shocker.

McDonnell, now 16 – 2 -1 (7 KOs), is hoping to earn a world title show within the next 12 months. Until then he looks set to defend his bauble against British champion Stuey Hall.

McDonnell forces Jamoye to cover up (Pic: Javed Iqbal)
McDonnell forces Jamoye to cover up (Pic: Javed Iqbal)
Jamie McDonnell lands (Pic: Javed Iqbal)
Jamie McDonnell lands (Pic: Javed Iqbal)
Leeds puncher Carl Johanneson booked a final eliminator showdown with Anthony Crolla by seeing off South Shields’ George Watson on points over eight rounds.

Johanneson was due to face Akaash Bhatia at weight closer to his natural 9st 4lbs, but when the Londoner pulled out due to flu promoter Frank Maloney was forced to find a late replacement and in came the much bigger Watson.

Indeed, the height differential between the fighters was staggering when the action started as the 6ft frame of the North East fighter towered over that of 5ft 5ins.

But it didn’t count for anything as the Leeds man took the centre of the ring and ripped in shots to the torso.

Watson struggled to get settled and although he did at times find Johanneson with his jab, he spent most of the fight tucking his elbows in to soak up the Yorkshireman’s constant pressure.

Johanneson’s dominance was most evident in the seventh frame. He picked holes in Watson’s guard before forcing the taller man to take a knee with a solid blast to the body.

Watson was back on his feet at the count of “eight” and did his utmost to survive until the final bell. Local referee Michael Alexander scored it 80-71.

Johanneson’s record improves to 30 – 4 (19 KOs), while Watson’s drops to 8 – 3 – 2 (1 KO).

The Crolla clash is set for on the under card of Stephen Foster Jnr versus Ermano Fegatelli in Bolton on February 26.
Kieron Farrell was at his aggressive best as he recorded win number eight with a 40 – 36 mark over Sheffield’s Jason Carr.

The shaven headed Heywood-native used a crouching style to slip under the Carr’s punches before coming up and detonating hefty blows to the head and body.

Heavily tattooed Carr tried to push out straight punches but couldn’t stop Farrell buzzing around him like a hornet with anger management issues. The Lancastrian checked Carr’s chin in both the third and fourth sessions before Mr Alexander raised his hand.

Young Manchester featherweight prospect Terry Flannigan took his slate to 9 – 0 (4 KOs) by defeating Bulgaria’s Stoyan Serbezan.

The stoppage, which came at 0.16 of round two, was an odd one. Serbezon tried to throw but pulled back and went down clutching his arm at the elbow. Instead of calling time out to check the state of his injury referee John Latham instead issued a ten count.

To be fair, Flannigan had dominated the opener and calling the bout off merely brought the Mancunian a victory that would have inevitable anyway.

Dale Miles is a name that the top British welterweights will soon be hearing about. The 26-year-old had been out of action since beating Darren Askew last April but showed no signs of ring rust as he dismantled Nottingham’s Simone Lucas in two rounds.

A fast one-two in the opener sent Lucas, unfortunately nicknamed “Lucky”, crashing face first to the ring apron.

The Jimmy Gill-managed boxer clambered back to his feet and made it to the end of the stanza but the writing was one the wall. Miles closed the show in the second when a left hand down the pipe made Lucas’ head spin and another blow sent him down again.

Once more he bravely got up. However, he was clearly dazed and Michael Alexander did the correct thing by not allowing the contest to continue.

Miles is now 10 – 0 (7 KO) and has the punching power and accuracy to be mixing it at British title level within the next 12 to 18 months.

ABA finalist Glenn Foot was handed a tough test by being matched up against the always game Brummie Dee Mitchell but he passed by the slimmest of margins and took his unbeaten tally to three.
Foot started confidently, forcing Mitchell onto the back foot and whipping in shots downstairs. Mitchell, who last year defeated British title challenger Martin Concepcion, had moments of success but they were never sustained.

Bleeding from a slight nick near his right eye Foot continued to pick his shots in rounds two and three. In the fourth, though, his world nearly crashed down around him as Mitchell got off a looping right that sent the young prospect staggering. Pleased to hear the bell, Foot was rewarded with a 39 – 38 margin.

Another former star amateur continuing his unbeaten march was Sheffield’s Liam “Cannonball” Cameron. The 20-year-old 2009 ABA champion scored the second inside the distance win in his eight fight career by blasting out Lester Walsh in the fourth or a scheduled six.

Cameron, who is a part-time model, was economical early on, choosing to pick his punches. In the third he discovered that Walsh was open to uppercuts and from there it was only a matter of time before the end came.

After rocking Walsh’s head back in the fourth, Cameron got off a flush two fisted attack and Mr Alexander decided he had seen enough.

Local lad Maxi Hughes was all business as he proved too much for York’s Graham Fearn in a four-threes.

Maxi, real name Danny, burst out of the blocks and made the left hook his weapon of choice. Several times the young Doncaster man tested Fearn’s resistance and it looked like the older man was going to capitulate.

But he hung in with all his might despite the fight becoming almost target practice for Hughes. Predictably the referee’s scorecard read 40 – 36.

Leeds’ highly touted Josh Warrington became the 57th man to beat Walsall veteran Steve Gethin when he notched a 40 – 36 verdict.

Warrington, a dental technician by trade, hooked heavy artillery into the torso of the Midlander in the opening session before switching his attention to the head in the second.

The fusillade continued until the final bell and bleeding from his eye and nose Gethin trudged back to his corner looking like he’d been hit by a bat. Warrington is now 6 – 0 (0 KOs) and is looking to step up to six-rounders next.

Rising teenage star Chad Gaynor scored a shutout 40 - 36 four round points win over Nuneaton trial horse Kristian Laight.

On the bill closer Hull’s always exciting Tommy "Boom Boom" Coyle saw off the spirited Andrew Patterson 40 - 37 in another four round battle.
Josh Warrington (Pic: Javed Iqbal)
Josh Warrington (Pic: Javed Iqbal)

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