Jamie is still king of the ring

Championship Boxing at Hillsborough, Saturday 28th May - Commonwealth Title, Jamie McDonnell vs Nick Otieno. The Champion Jamie McDonnell.
Championship Boxing at Hillsborough, Saturday 28th May - Commonwealth Title, Jamie McDonnell vs Nick Otieno. The Champion Jamie McDonnell.
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BANTAMWEIGHT king Jamie McDonnell eased his way to an overwhelming points victory in defence of his Commonwealth crown at Sheffield over the weekend.

It was not one of McDonnell’s best performances and the fight lacked the intensity of his pulsating European title clash against Stephane Jamoye in his previous outing.

But he did enough to win by a landslide with two of the judges giving him every round and the other scoring it a one-sided 118-111 victory.

In fairness to Kenyan opponent Nick Otieno several of the rounds were close and I gave the African one round and scored another even.

But ultimately the Hatfield man did not have to put on a masterclass because he looked as if he won with several gears to spare.

The longer the fight went on the more Otieno looked out of his depth and it seemed as if McDonnell could have dished out more punishment any time he liked.

Former world champion Jim Watt, commentating for Sky TV, reckoned McDonnell would have been more effective fighting on the front foot - and he was probably right.

But the game plan had always been to hit and move and in that respect McDonnell showed just how much he has matured as a boxer over the last year or so as he carried out his corner’s instructions to the letter.

The fight carried a massive risk as he was boxing under the threat of being stripped of his more prestigious European crown if he had lost.

But there was never any danger of that despite Otieno making a promising start as he came forward confidently in the first few rounds.

By the half way mark, however, McDonnell had built up a healthy lead just doing enough to edge several rounds and Otieno looked far less comfortable as he was hit by some heavy punches as the fight progressed.

The tenth was a big round for McDonnell as he forced his man back and gave a glimpse of what he might have done had he gone in with all guns blazing earlier in the fight.

But Otieno had never previously been stopped in 27 fights, despite being in with some top opponents, and McDonnell wisely decided there was little point in needlessly expending energy by trying to blast his man out.

When the final bell came McDonnell had landed 173 punches to 117 from his opponent, according to the television computer, and the verdict was clear cut.

It was a comfortable victory but the Sheffield venue lacked the atmosphere generated by the Dome.