Jamie McDonnell produced the best possible result as he took his first step on the long road back to the world title.
The Hatfield bantamweight ended six months of inactivity and out-of-ring frustrations by stopping former WBO flyweight title contender Bernard Inom during the seventh round.
Announced as ‘the former undefeated IBF world bantamweight champion,’ McDonnell gave a performance with the assuredness of a world champion without having to show any of the heart which took him to the level.
It was a contest McDonnell dominated from the off, his considerable height advantage over the Frenchman allowing him to establish control of the middle of the ring.
From there, he worked his jab superbly, nothing particularly showy but following the same sort of strict game plan that helped him ascend to domestic and international title glory.
Veteran Inom gave a few reminders of his presence, finding the gaps between McDonnell’s gloves with several stiff shots.
But McDonnell was never particularly fazed by the patchy assault from his opponent and merely marched on forward.
The intensity of McDonnell’s work grew as the fight wore on as he brought in the bodyshots which have proven so lethal in the past.
Inom was clearly bothered by one right hook to the base of the ribcage in the sixth round and McDonnell could sense the end was near.
He continued with the shots to the body in the seventh, moving onto good combination work and fully nullifying Inom’s reponse.
With Inom throwing nothing back, the official stepped in to wave the fight off, a decision with was met with no protest from the Frenchman’s camp.
For a full fight report, see Monday’s Star.