McDonnell double

Gavin McDonnell v Pavels Senkov. Picture: Trevor Price
Gavin McDonnell v Pavels Senkov. Picture: Trevor Price
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Dunscroft’s Gavin McDonnell - twin brother of European bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell - was the pick of the up and coming local boxers on view in last Friday’s fight night at the Dome.

McDonnell, who is bound to be compared with his brother, produced an assured display in only his second professional fight.

Up against Latvian journeyman Pavels Senkovs he pounded out a comfortable 60-54 points victory, winning every round, displaying impressive hand speed and looked strong at the weight.

He showed a better defence than his brother did at the same stage of his career but too often boxed out of range so neither man landed many punches in the early rounds.

Gavin dominated more as the fight progressed delivering some useful body punches, while also amusingly producing the same grunting noise as his brother when he landed.

On paper 21-year-old Rossington light welterweight Maxi Hughes had the hardest task of the night in only his fourth fight having been matched against a man who holds a victory over British lightweight champion Anthony Crolla, and has been the distance with world champion Ricky Burns.

And so it proved.

But only because he had trained for a fight - and not a race!

Dewsbury-based Syrian opponent Youssef Al Hamidi spent most of the four round contest running away from Hughes who would have had to be as fast as Linford Christie to catch him.

The result was almost a non event but Hughes did manage to land the odd punch on the slippery Syrian and earned a 40-36 verdict.

Hughes has shown promise in his early fights but probably needs an opponent prepared to fight back to help him on his learning curve.

It was a mixed night for the local men.

All won, as expected, but Swinton light middleweight Tommy Coward and Conisbrough lightweight Steven Hale had to climb off the canvas to stretch their unbeaten records.

Coward walked on to a cracking left hook in the fourth round but was up straight away and looked more embarrassed than hurt.

But he had won the other five rounds of the six rounder and took a 58-55 verdict against determined 22-year-old Welshman Gary Cooper.

Much is expected of Coward, however, and he will need to improve on this performance before he starts mixing with fighters higher up the rankings.

Hale was not unduly troubled by the punch that knocked him down either and fought back to take a share of the second round.

But he was somewhat fortunate to be awarded a 39-38 verdict by highly respected referee Howard Foster after his game Bulgarian opponent Valentin Stoychev appeared to edge the last two rounds.

Stainforth welterweight Charlie Thompson made a successful return to the ring and set something of a record with a gap of more than five years between his first and second fights.

Thompson recorded a 60-55 points win over limited 36-year-old South African Bheki Moyo.

Armthorpe’s Jason Ball had fast hands and quick feet but failed to throw enough punches and just edged a 39-38 win against Simone Lucas, who has now lost six in a row.