Boxing: South Yorkshire world champs don’t get enough credit

Kell Brook and Jamie McDonnell Press Conference'Sheffield City Hall'Jamie McDonnell, Promoter Eddie Hearn and trainer Dave Coldwell
Kell Brook and Jamie McDonnell Press Conference'Sheffield City Hall'Jamie McDonnell, Promoter Eddie Hearn and trainer Dave Coldwell

Trainer Dave Coldwell says Jamie McDonnell shares a burden which marred Clinton Woods’ career - neither have enjoyed the acclaim they deserve.

Doncaster’s McDonnell has been WBA World Bantamweight champion since May 2014 having previously won the IBF version. Sheffield’s Woods, now retired from the ring, was IBF light heavyweight ruler from 2005-2008.

Yet neither man have had the national and international profile their achievements deserve, says the Rotherham trainer.

Star and Doncaster Free Press boxing writer Liam Hoden was first to make the same point about McDonnell on January 3, when he wrote: “beyond the reaches of South Yorkshire there is very little talk about the brilliance of Jamie McDonnell.”

And Coldwell agrees: “Other boxers get a bigger push than Jamie, I don’t know if it’s because they are not from the south of England or from a major city in the north, or he’s not as glamorous a fighter as people would like.

“He doesn’t get the recognition. His profile is better than it was but it’s not what it should be. Clinton was the same, whenever people talk about world champions these two don’t always get a mention, when they should.

“Boxers like them, who came up the old fashioned way with an amateur career and maybe overcame a couple of losses, seem to struggle rather than the golden boys who are groomed for the top. But for me the greater achievement is to come through the ranks and get over the obstacles that come their way.

“A couple of weeks ago a national (media) organisation listed British world champions and missed Jamie out. I had to get in touch with them. Whether it was poor journalism or other boxers have a better ‘back story’ I don’t know.

“Jamie and Gavin have the best back story of all - not just brothers, they are twins! They are great characters and their banter is amazing.

“It’s like there is a blind spot to these fighters.”

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