Dominant Jamie McDonnell retains European crown

JAMIE McDonnell dismantled Ivan Pozo inside two rounds to retain his European bantamweight crown and take a major step forward in his quest for a world title fight.

A huge left hook to the body sent the Spanish fighter to his knees and he failed to meet the count with a minute of the second round to go at Sheffield’s Hillsborough Leisure Centre.

McDonnell had totally dominated the contest to this point, using a large height difference to keep Pozo at bay and neuter his come forward style.

Pozo looked disheartened at the start of the second round and took some big shots from McDonnell, who hardly broke sweat.

The Hatfield fighter will now pursue a testing international contest in order to build towards a potential shot at a world title.

The night before at Doncaster Dome, McDonnell’s twin brother Gavin earned a battling draw against Ashley Lane.

McDonnell dictated the final round but the three previous had been much more even.

Another Hatfield fighter, Connor Nixon, picked up a 40-37 win over tough Scottish fighter Ryan McNicol, despite giving away half a stone on the scales.

Nixon looked nervy in his second fight but his speed proved too much for McNicol to be able to settle.

Rossington’s Maxi Hughes lost his 100 per cent record but remains unbeaten after a thrilling draw with Ronnie Clark, who also came into the fight without a previous defeat.

Hughes looked to have done enough to win the bout, showing fantastic heart and excellent work rate but he had to be satisfied with a share of the spoils.

Woodlands’ former Army boxer Ste Mac made a winning start to his professional career with a 40-36 points victory over Steve Spence.

While Mac will need to step up his offensive workrate in the future, he dominated the centre of the ring and dictated the pattern of the fight throughout.

At the top of the bill, Swinton fighter Tommy Coward stopped Jay Morris in the fifth round, capping a dominant performance.

And debutant Robbie Barrett of Darfield showed composure and intelligence beyond his years to comfortably out point the ever-tricky Kristian Laight.

Sheffield’s Joe Rodgers continued the impressive start to his career with a win over Pavel Senkovs while Wakefield’s Andy Townend stopped Evgeni Geshev.

For more reaction and analysis of McDonnell's victory and the Doncaster Dome show, see this week's Free Press, out Thursday.