Ian Napa's chance at the European bantamweight title went up in smoke today in Brentwood, as he lost a highly controversial decision to Jamie McDonnell live on Sky Sports.
McDonnell is now the BBBofC bantamweight titlist, winning on split decision scores of 115-114, 117-112 and 114-115. The 117-112 card from judge Dave Parris for McDonnell was particularly questionable. Bad Left Hook scored the bout 115-113 for Napa, and the only thing I can say that might have been different is a round or two more in Napa's favor.
McDonnell (13-2-1, 5 KO) did everything he could to win, but it seemed pretty apparenty he'd come up just short. The feather-fisted Napa (19-8, 1 KO) dominated the middle portions of the fight with his slick, elusive style, but McDonnell poured on the pressure late. I gave McDonnell the last three rounds to make the fight close on my scorecard, but could easily have seen the 12th scored for Napa, who landed some good shots of his own. That would have made it 116-112, and I could see as high as 117-111 maybe.
They gave lip service to a rematch after the fight, but we'll see. Chances are it'll happen since neither of them are exactly about to storm the world stage, but you never know.
This does ruin Napa's scheduled March fight against Jerome Arnould for the vacant European bantamweight title, which McDonnell seems to think is now his earned right. I disagree, but I'm not a boxing promoter.
On the undercard, flyweight prospect Ashley Sexton (9-0, 5 KO) put his name with an early KO of the Year candidate over Usman Ahmed. The knockout blow came in the first round. Super middleweight prospect George Groves (8-0, 6 KO) stayed unbeaten with a third round KO of Grigor Sarohanian (2-3, 0 KO).