By Terence Dooley
Sheffield Arena - Doncaster’s Gavin McDonnell (121¼lbs) is clearly enjoying life under the watchful eye of new trainer David Coldwell. The European Super bantamweight champion boxed to orders to retain his belt against France’s Jeremy Parodi, 28, over 12 brisk and bright rounds.
The visitor tried to apply pressure throughout yet was unable to take McDonnell, the brother of WBA World bantamweight titlist Jamie, out of his stride or rhythm en route to a decision defeat—scores of 117-111, twice, and 118-110 ensured McDonnell kept his title.
The 29-year-old champion has two blemishes on his record—draws against Ashley Lane and Josh Wale—but was never in danger of losing this fight or his title as he continues his recent renaissance under Coldwell.
Parodi heads back to Toulon with a 37-3-1 (9) record.
McDonnell (14-0-2, 4 KOs) has now added a notch to the belt; he has pledged to bring home his own world title.
He said: “He’s very tought and experienced, but I stuck to my gameplan, which we’ve been working on for a long 15-weeks. This is just the start, I genuinely believe I’ll be a world champion.”
“I’m over the moon with him, really proud,” added Coldwell. “He went out there and did the things we’ve worked on in training.”
Nottinghamshire’s Leigh Wood (126lbs) kept things neat and methodical tonight throughout his 10 rounder against Josh Wale (125¼lbs) at the Sheffield Arena on Eddie Hearn’s Sky Sports-televised bill.
Kell Brook’s withdrawal due to injury has elevated Chris Eubank Junior and Gavin McDonnell to to the top of the card, they meet Tony Jeter and Jeremy Parodi respectively—Eubank’s first fight with the promoter since inking a deal.
Wood-Wale kicked off the Sky TV portion of the bill, with Wood easing his way to a 99-91, 99-92 and 98-92 decision win without having to get involved in any heavy exchanges.
The 27-year-old is now 7-0 since losing his 0 to Gavin McDonnell in February of last year, a sixth-round TKO defeat, and has eased himself into British title contention whilst moving to 16-1 (8).
Wale lost for the eighth time, against two draws and 10 wins, but has shown mixed form since drawing with the much-improved McDonnell for the British title last year.
The 27-year-old from Barnsley shed some blood against Welsh journeyman Dai Davies last time out before winning by a single point so he needs a performance, and soon, if he is to arrest his mixed form.