Jamie McDonnell Out-Points A Game Stuart Hall - Is Now European, Commonwealth And British Bantamweight Champion

By James Slater: Tonight in his native Doncaster, 25-year-old Jamie McDonnell regained the British bantamweight title and also retained his European and Commonwealth crowns with an exciting, absorbing points win over defending British ruler Stuart Hall.

After 12 crowd-pleasing rounds, the scores were 116-113, 116-114 and 115-113, all for McDonnell. McDonnell is now 18-2-1(7). 31-year-old Hall is now 11-1-1(7).

Tonight’s fight, seen by most as a 50/50 affair coming in, shaped up as a speed and class Vs. power and aggression affair. The younger man was that much faster, of hands and of feet, while the older, less experienced fighter had the heavier hands and the KO ratio.

For the first half of the enjoyable fight it was pretty much the even fight many saw coming, with Hall getting home with repeated right hands to the head and McDonnell replying with fast combos to head and body. Hall stalked his man, while the local hero used non-stop movement and fired out his fast hands. The early rounds were very close, apart from the 4th, which McDonnell won in style.

In many ways it was a case of what you liked at times: quality or quantity (just as Sky pundit Spencer Oliver said on air). Both men went to the body well, with McDonnell really having success downstairs. By the 6th, however, Hall was beginning to look a little pedestrian by comparison. The British champ was always dangerous, though, his right hand to the head a constant threat.

McDonnell really shone in the 8th, as he went through the gears, landing a sweet uppercut to the chin followed by a right hand. Hall, for the first time, looked flustered and frustrated. Knowing he was falling behind on the cards, the older man went for it in the 9th, having some success as he did so. But McDonnell (who has never been stopped) showed a fine chin tonight, taking everything that came his way well enough.

The fans were treated to some good action tonight, with plenty of trading. Hall suffered a small cut above his left eye during the 11th, but the wound never bothered the Darlington warrior.

McDonnell, closing the show in style, looked excellent in the 12th, as he unloaded with both hands in quite sizzling fashion. Hall refused to be totally dominated, and fired back his own shots. Both superbly conditioned fighters raised their arms at the bell.

McDonnell was a worthy winner, no doubt, and his promoter Frank Maloney said afterwards that once a European title defence has been seen to, he will look to get Jamie a shot at a world title. Now ranked in the WBC top-10, the classy 25-year-old could well reach the very top some time in 2012. As for Hall, he has had just 13 pro bouts and he can definitely come again.

Article posted on 04.09.2011

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