Night in heaven followed by journey from hell for Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell
Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell probably thought all his troubles were behind him when he successfully defended his WBA bantamweight title last weekend.

But he did not account for a journey home which spanned three days.

A troubled and turbulent build-up to the fight threatened to derail his hopes until he produced a stunning performance to defeat Tomoki Kameda in Texas.


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But the hard days were not over.

Tornado issues in Texas saw flights into Dallas delayed or cancelled, disrupting the chain of connecting flights booked to get McDonnell and his travelling party home.

So what should have been a relatively simple journey home on Sunday afternoon became a horror trip which saw McDonnell and his family finally get back to his Hatfield home on Tuesday evening.

“It was absolutely ridiculous,” McDonnell said. “It’s a good job I got the win.

“Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Flights were delayed, cancelled, the lot.

“You just want to be home as it is, but for it to take three days was shocking.

“I’d got my baby girl, my brother had got his one-year-old and it’s horrible for them.”

The travel disruption saw McDonnell and his family split away from manager Dave Coldwell and fellow fighter Tony Bellew to get home, while trainer Jimmy Harrington went it alone in his bid to return to Doncaster.

McDonnell said: “We all went our separate ways because it was easier for us to try and get there.

“We could have ended up staying another night in Chicago but we’d had enough and just wanted to wait for a flight.

“We managed to get a connecting flight through Heathrow. When we got there we bumped into Dave, Jimmy and the rest and ended up on the same flight back to Manchester.”

So, after three days of travel hell, what was the first thing McDonnell did when he arrived home?

“I got straight in and booked a week away in Egypt,” he said.

“I love my holidays and after everything we went through I though me, my wife and daughter could do with one.”

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