Liam Hoden: Time for more recognition for the McDonnell twins

Jamie McDonnell was superb against Tomoki Kameda.
Jamie McDonnell was superb against Tomoki Kameda.

It has been the case throughout his professional career, but beyond the reaches of South Yorkshire there is very little talk about the brilliance of Jamie McDonnell.

He operates at boxing’s very top level but does so very much under the radar. Winning two world titles has done little to raise his profile which is a crying shame.

And particularly so after his brilliance in 2015.

When it came to deciding the British boxer of the year, it was always going to be a tough choice. Britain enters 2016 boasting a dozen world champions.

From the controversial Tyson Fury’s deposition of Wladimir Klitschko to the remarkable recoveries of Kell Brook and Anthony Crolla, who both suffered career threatening injuries outside the ring, there have been some remarkable achievements.

But McDonnell should have been firmly in the conversation about the finest achievements by a British fighter during the year.

Twice he went to America as the away fighter and defeated a world class opponent to retain his WBA bantamweight title.

In his first meeting with Tomoki Kameda in May, he got up off the floor in the third round, grew into the fight and narrowly out-pointed the former unbeaten WBO champion.

A rematch was the best option financially for the Hatfield fighter so he snapped it up, and a return to the Texas heat. And in his reunion with Kameda he shone even brighter, winning by a wide points margin in what was a brilliantly routine win.

This came after a switch in trainer mere weeks before and the beginning of the rebuild of his fighting style. He schooled Kameda in an awesome show of skill and composure.

So, not being given wider acknowledgement for his achievements is disappointing.

Credit too must go to twin brother Gavin who is now certainly out of his brother’s shadow and teasing a world title triumph of his own.

In just his 15th fight in March, he won the European super bantamweight title in a one-sided affair and defended it in style with an emphatic points win later in the year.

Switching to Dave Coldwell as his trainer looks to have had a greater effect on Gavin than his brother and raises excitement levels for the year ahead. His European title has been relinquished as he begins the chase for world glory.

Let’s hope 2016 brings more opportunities to applaud these incredible twins.