Boxing


Jamie McDonnell Tears Through Rodrigo Bracco In Defence Of European Bantamweight Crown

by James Slater - Last night, in his native Doncaster, 24-year-old Jamie McDonnell successfully defended his European bantamweight title for the first time with an easy-looking 3rd-round TKO over Italy's 30-year-old Rodrigo Bracco. Winning the opening couple of rounds in dominant fashion, McDonnell hurt the challenger with a right hand to the head in the 3rd, and then opened up with both hands, prompting referee Erkki Meronen to dive in and stop the bout. The official time was 2-minutes and 53-seconds of the round, and McDonnell improved to15-2-1(7). Bracco fell to 11-3(5). Last night's loss was the Chilean-born Italian's first inside the distance defeat..

Showing he was the boss right from the first bell, McDonnell, who towered over the visiting fighter, got on the front foot and took the fight to his challenger; tagging him with left jabs, left hands to the body and head and right hands to the head. Bracco gave it a shot, especially in the 2nd, when he opened up as best he could, but he was just too small and too severely outgunned to do anything to concern the champion.

Bracco was never down in the short fight, but the stoppage was a well-timed one on the part of the referee, and there were no complaints from the Italian or his corner.

Interviewed post-fight, McDonnell said he knew he had nothing to worry about when he first saw Bracco; so small was he. And, after having travelled to France to face big favourite Jerome Arnould for the vacant Euro belt back in March (winning via an upset 10th-round TKO), McDonnell deserved an "easy" first defence. He sure got it last night.

Promoter Frank Maloney is excited about McDonnell, even going as far as to say he could be the new face of British boxing. And the still-improving 24-year-old is really on a roll at present. A pro since 2005, the Doncaster man has never been stopped, and his two points defeats were very, very close. Since losing back-to-back in 2008/09 - in a British flyweight title challenge of Chris Edwards in December 2007 and then over eight rounds to Lee Haskins back up at bantamweight three months later - McDonnell has won seven in a row, 5 by KO.

McDonnell's win over Ian Napa, in January of this year, when he captured the British and Commonwealth belts at 118-pounds, earned him lots of notice, and now he is proving he is the best at his weight in Europe.

There don't figure to be too many nights as easy as the one he got last night, but McDonnell will surely rise once again to the bigger challenges.

Article posted on 03.07.2010



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