Saturday, 11 May 2013

Jamie McDonnell v Julio Ceja

In the first of this weekend's world title fights Englishman Jamie McDonnell (21-2-1, 9) became the first man from Doncaster to claim a world title as he claimed the IBF Bantamweight title and over came a spirited Julio Ceja (24-1, 22) of Mexico.

With the vacant title up for grabs many felt this could be the fight of the weekend and it certainly lived up to those expectations with a wonderful clash of styles and the expectation of a dramatic ending by either man.

The bout started slowly with the opening round being a pretty typical "feeling out round" with neither man doing too much other than seeing what the other had. Following that it was Ceja who took the initiative upped his work rate as he clearly took the following few rounds and forced the Englishman on to the back foot. Ceja had not just upped the pressure on McDonnell but had shown a determined body attack using his left hook to the body to to really make McDonnell pay for holding his feet and not moving.

After the slow start it appeared as if the Englishman was on his way to losing until he finally started to show the lateral movement that essentially helped make Ceja look like a limited fighter. The movement of McDonnell forced Ceja to chase him and almost completely neutralised the dangerous left hand of the Mexican who began to look lost in the middle rounds.

With Ceja starting to struggle to connect McDonnell really grew in confidence and you could see it in the way he was fighting, he was not only making Ceja look clumsy and lost but landing with his own fast combinations as well as his jab which pierced the defense of the hard hitting Mexican time and time again. Though it was the right hand of McDonnell's that really looked the pick of his offensive work.

Despite looking comfortable McDonnell did have a nightmare round 11 as Ceja put it on the line and appeared to wobble the Doncaster man late with a wonderful flurry of hard and explosive shots, though the Mexican couldn't put  his man down as he had been able to with many of his previous opponents.

Whilst he had been rocked in round 11 McDonnell recovered well and took round 12 comfortable, even appearing to rock Ceja with his hard straight hands late in the round as he clearly dominated the round and did enough to secure the decision.

To the fans in attendances and those watching at home it appeared McDonnell, who had started slowly, had done more than enough to secure a clear decision but the scorecards said otherwise as the announcer read out a majority decision (114-114, 115-113 and 118-110) to McDonnell, the rightful winner despite 2 awful scorecards.

The fight, whilst a good win for McDonnell was a disappointment for Dennis Hobson, the promoter who saw the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster almost empty in fact from the televised images the stadium looked about 20% full, a really disappointing turn out for McDonnell who is a cracking chap and deserves more support. Hopefully for McDonnell's first defense their will be a better crowd than this as he really does deserve a better following than he's been getting.

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