By Keith Idec
Daniel Roman was winning entering the 10th round Saturday night, but he left no doubt about his superiority over Gavin McDonnell.
Los Angeles’ Roman knocked down McDonnell in the 10th round of their scheduled 12-round, 122-pound title fight in Chicago and knocked him out. McDonnell made their fight more competitive in the previous two-plus rounds, but Roman hurt him badly with a right hand late in the 10th round and floored him several seconds later.
England’s McDonnell got up, but referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight at 2:36 of the 10th round. A battered, bloodied McDonnell didn’t protest the stoppage.
Roman’s successful WBA world super bantamweight title defense was streamed by DAZN as part of a 10-bout card at DePaul University’s Wintrust Arena. The 28-year-old Roman (26-2-1, 10 KOs) made a third defense of the WBA world 122-pound title he won 13 months ago.
The 32-year-old McDonnell (20-2-2, 5 KOs) suffered just the second defeat of his seven-year pro career. Before his loss Saturday night, he had won four straight bouts after Mexico’s Rey Vargas beat him by majority decision in their 12-round fight for Vargas’ WBC world super bantamweight championship in February 2017.
Roman’s right hand hurt McDonnell badly with 47 seconds remaining in the 10th round. McDonnell wobbled after absorbing that punch and Roman went after him.
Roman landed a left uppercut and then a barrage of punches before McDonnell fell to the canvas. McDonnell tried to get up too quickly from his gloves and knees, thought better of it and took a knee.
He still beat Nelson’s count, but Nelson didn’t like how McDonnell looked once he stood up and stopped the fight.
McDonnell had success in the previous two rounds.
McDonnell’s left-right combination clipped Roman just before the midway mark of the ninth round. Roman backed McDonnell into the ropes and landed a combination later in the ninth.
Roman and McDonnell traded hard shots on the inside toward the end of the ninth.
McDonnell landed a left hook to the body and followed it with a right hand to the head late in the eighth round. A left hook by Roman hit McDonnell on the side of his head as McDonnell tried to retreat toward the end of the seventh round.
Roman appeared to hurt McDonnell when he hit him with a left-right-left combination that snapped back McDonnell’s head late in the sixth round. By then, McDonnell bled badly from his nose and couldn’t compete with the aggressive Roman’s hand speed and combinations.
Roman’s left uppercut caught McDonnell with another left uppercut around the halfway point of the sixth round.
Roman landed three sharp left hooks to McDonnell’s head within the first 50 seconds of the fifth round. A left uppercut by Roman cracked McDonnell with just over a minute remaining in the fifth.
Roman continued to crack McDonnell with his left uppercut later in the fifth.
McDonnell connected with a left hook with about 1:10 to go in the fourth round. Roman hammered McDonnell with two lefts to the body just before the fourth rounded ended.
Roman’s right hand hit McDonnell as he backed into the ropes with just under two minutes to go in the third round. Roman drilled McDonnell with a left uppercut just before the midway mark of the third round.
Roman’s left uppercut connected with just under a minute to go in the second round. About 20 seconds later, Roman landed a left hand to McDonnell’s body.
Earlier in the second round, Roman drilled McDonnell with a straight right hand.
Roman landed several lefts to McDonnell’s body in the first round. He also was solid defensively during those first three minutes, when he mostly blocked and slipped McDonnell’s punches.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.