By Alexey Sukachev
Jamie McDonnell (18-2-1, 7 KOs) added the BBBofC British bantamweight title to his current European (EBU) and Commonwealth belts, in front of an eager crowd at the Doncaster Dome in Doncaster, England, following a back-and-forth all-action victory over fellow countryman and titleholder Stuart Hall (11-1-1, 7 KOs), who suffered the first loss of his professional career.
WBC #8 McDonnell, who was fighting for the third time this year, was forced to make up a considerable handicap after the first couple of rounds. Hall, more aggressive and the more powerful of the two, was in control of the fight early on. He marched forward and connected often with his leading right hand. His jab was also sharp and damaging as McDonell, 25, wore a grimace of pain and displeasure on his face. Things got better for him in the third round, when he started to use his own jab and also utilized a smart footwork to avoid the shorter and slower Hall. Round four was exceptionally good for the European champion and he was also better of the two in the fifth.
Despite being six years older than McDonnell, Hall, 31, is three years younger than him in terms of his professional experience. However, for round six he was able to turn the fight into a see-saw action battle. Both pugilists fought each other on roughly even terms. McDonnell was doing more and was connecting with sharper punches both to the head and body of Hall, but the latter was making up for this with the sheer power of his blows. However, the perception was that McDonnell's overall technique and boxing skills were just a notch higher than Hall's power. Moreover, the last round was also in the champ's favor.
After seeing twelve rounds of impressive, non-stop action - all three judges were unanimous in their scoring: 115-113 (Howard Foster), 116-114 (John Keane) and 116-113 (Phil Edwards) - all for the local hero Jamie McDonnell. BoxingScene also scored it 115-113. Referee was Ian John-Lewis.