By Alexey Sukachev
Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffield, Yorkshire - European, Commonwealth and British bantamweight master Jamie McDonnell (19-2-1, 8 KOs) got an easy knockout of overmatched and outweighed Spanish former flyweight Ivan Pozo (32-7-1, 20 KOs).
Defending his EBU blue belt for the fourth time, WBC #2 and IBF #12 McDonnell kept the smaller Pozo at bay with his hard right jab in the first round. In the second, McDonnell firstly softened the Spaniard with leveling right hands and left uppercut and then landed a perfect double left hook/uppercut (to the liver and to the head) combo to put Pozo down to a knee in pain, where he was counted out near the end of the round by referee Adrio Zannoni.
In a post-fight quickie, McDonnell, who is hunting down Jorge Arce, expressed his readiness to fight the best bantamweight in the world. He can start from the winner of upcoming showdown between WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka and multi-time champion Vic Darchinyan.
At 45-years-old, former world title challenger Matt Skelton (26-6, 21 KOs) still rocks. Skelton, obviously the underdog, hammered his way through ex-prospect Tom Dallas (15-2, 11 KOs) in terrific fashion and stopped the latter at 1:00 of the fifth round to get back into domestic title mix.
Skelton was the better of the two from the get-go. He marched forward and just couldn't miss with his huge, damaging shots. Dallas was forced to defend himself in the corner, and he was definitely not capable of accomplishing this task. Skelton had big rounds one and two, and the third was a pure meltdown for the prospect - it could have easily been scored as 10-8 round for Skelton. Matt took a small break in the fourth but came back with zeal in the fifth and did what he should, pinning Dallas against the ropes and finishing him off with swinging, hammering punches, when Tom was already in a horizontal position with half of his body hanging over the ropes. Referee Dave Parris was slightly late to save Dallas, who lost his second straight fight by stoppage.