Pulling away over the second half of a briskly fought twelve rounder, Jamie McDonnell was just a little too good for Stuart Hall at the Doncaster Dome on Saturday night. It was an entertaining contest from start to finish, with McDonnell's edge in craft and speed proving decisive in the battle of British bantamweights.
Heading into the fight, the consensus had the clash as very much a 50/50 affair, and the opening five or six rounds stayed true to those projections. It was give and take during those sessions, with Hall, who appeared to be the stronger man, landing a number of solid right hands, while McDonnell responded by picking his moments well to jump in and counter.
Hall seemed to tire just a little as the fight wore on, with McDonnell's quickness, versatility and accuracy paying dividends as he was able to stay just a step ahead of the visiting man. A number of good shots to the body by McDonnell were likely also key in taking some steam from Hall's attack in the late going.
The decision was unanimous, with scores of 115-113, 116-114 and 116-113 favoring the local man. Bad Left Hook's Dave Oakes concurred with the official judges, scoring the bout for McDonnell, though by a slightly wider 117-112.
With the victory, McDonnell is now the British, Commonwealth and European champion at 118-pounds.
Tony Jeffries won an eight rounder over southpaw Paul Morby in the main preliminary bout. Though an 80-72 points winner, Jeffries failed to impress in what was a messy and monotonous affair. Clinching and moving frequently, Morby made things difficult on the 2008 Olympian by fighting a spoiler style of battle, though Jeffries failed to help himself with an unimaginative performance that left trainer Tommy Brooks and promoter Frank Maloney less than thrilled.