Gavin McDonnell soars while Adam Etches is halted

Gavin McDonnell celebrates victory over Oleksandr Yegorov during the Vacant European Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 28, 2015. See PA story BOXING Sheffield. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Gavin McDonnell celebrates victory over Oleksandr Yegorov during the Vacant European Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 28, 2015. See PA story BOXING Sheffield. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire

It has taken five years and eight days for Gavin McDonnell to rise from booze-loving dreamer to the pinnacle of his division on this continent.

The Doncaster fighter wakes up on his 29th birthday this morning as the new European super bantamweight champion following a convincing points win over Oleksandr Yegorov which completed a fairytale rise to prominence.

He appears to have been intensely motivated by the fact his family and friends laughed when he stood up in a hotel in the south of France, several alcohol-filled hours after Jamie became European champion, and said ‘If he can do it, so can I.’

That one sentence is now immortalised. Jamie did it, now so has Gavin and what else can he do.

Victory was rarely in doubt at the Motorpoint Arena as McDonnell controlled proceedings, showing some superb accuracy, particularly in rounds five and seven when he seemed to be dismantling Yegorov.

Plenty was made of while Yegorov was unbeaten, he had never fought outside his own country. But there was no way the Ukranian was there to make up the numbers.

He lacked true threat for much of the fight but he made up for that with a tremendous chin. McDonnell could still be hitting him in the face on Monday morning and he would not have shifted.

Yegorov did look vulnerable to the body shots and one criticism of McDonnell was that he did not explore this avenue enough, particularly in the middle rounds when it seemed as though he could stop the Ukranian.

He also showed the same trait as his brother of taking a few too many shots but never looked like being in trouble during a performance where he mainly maintained a disciplined approach of working at range.

The scorecards of 117-111, 118-110 and 118-109 were reflective of the comfortable nature of the night for McDonnell.

And now, with a WBO ranking under his belt, the world is his oyster.

Adam Etches’ saw his IBF International middleweight title and perfect record ripped away in sickening fashion after a suffering a horrendous knockout against Sergey Khomitsky.

It was a step up in class that always looked large for Dronfield’s Bomber as he faced an opponent who had swatted aside the fancied Frank Buglioni and was only narrowly edged out by world title contender Martin Murray.

But Etches did not look out of his depth until the wince-inducing denouement which came in the fourth round.

He appeared to have the edge over his vastly more experienced foe in terms of skill and control of the rounds.

But a slip up cost him dearly and brought an end to the fight.

Etches moved in for a jab to the body but walked onto a massive right hand from the Belarusian beast, felling him like a tree.

There was some concern for the 24-year-old prospect as he remained motionless on the canvas but after medical crews quickly attended to him, he was able to get back to his feet and leave the ring unaided.

Etches now has some work to do to get his promising career back on track.