McDonnell takes IBF title with points win
Jamie McDonnell (21-2-1) captured the IBF bantamweight title defeating Mexican Julio Ceja (24-1) by majority decision at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster on Saturday night.
The judges sored the fight 114-114, 115-113 and 118-110.
Ceja has a reputation as a big puncher and McDonnell wisely adopted a cagey approch in the opener keeping his opponent at bay with range-finding jabs.
But Ceja continued to march towards McDonnell and he landed hurtful hooks to the body in the second round. After shipping more spiteful shots in the third the Englishman fired back in the fourth with left hands before an uppercut got his attention.
McDonnell appeared to edge the fifth by visibly upping his tempo. Ceja pressed forward in the sixth forcing McDonnell back with stinging shots, although the home favourite rallied in the seventh with combinations that appeared to turn the tide as Ceja began to fade, though he gave a reminder of his threat with big shots in the 10th and 11th. Ceja buckled McDonnell's legs with a huge right hook in the penultimate round.
But McDonnell held on and produced a stunning final round performance, looking at one stage close to stopping Ceja.
"Oh my god what an amazing feeling," said McDonnell after the verdict. "I was actually enjoying it. He had a big record with 22 knockouts but I dug in because I wanted this belt. I controlled the fight. It means everything and this belt is for everyone in Doncaster."
Other results on the card:
Stuart Hall UD Sergio Perales
Jason Cunningham RTD 4 Usman Ahmad
Lewis Taylor PTS 8 Jason Ball
Jamie Sampson PTS 6 Lee Connelly
Carl Spencer TKO 2 Ferenc Zsalek
Zak Collins PTS 4 Carl Allen