Jamie on brink of proving my prediction right

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DONCASTER’S Jamie McDonnell is one fight of fulfilling a prediction I made at the start of his career after his stoppage victory over Darwin Zamora on Saturday night.

I think it was after watching his third professional fight at the Dome, when he was just a raw 18 year-old, that I wrote that Jamie could ‘go all the way.’

Looking back it was a pretty bold thing to say but Jamie has more than proved my faith in him and I look forward to him becoming Doncaster’s first ever world boxing champion - though he faces a step-up in class.

Many people have played their part as Jamie has gone on to win British, Commonwealth and European titles, including his current training regime Dave Hulley and Stefy Bull at their Mexborough gym.

But Jamie also deserves credit for making the necessary changes to his lifestyle, without which he wouldn’t be where he is today.

Doncaster Knights ended probably their longest run without a win in their history, in Friday’s British & Irish Cup Pool 8 clash against Nottingham at Meadow Lane.

Knights led throughout on their way to a 27-13 victory on a ground where victories have been few and far between in recent years.

I got a first-hand insight into the pressure suffered by team bosses under pressure to deliver results.

Knights’ director of rugby, Brett Davey was just behind me in the press box and he was in contact with head coach Glen Kenworthy, who was down at pitch side, throughout the game .

Doncaster Rovers climbed to a challenging seventh place in League One - their highest position since the first fortnight of the the season - after coming from behind to beat Brentford 2-1 at the Keepmoat Stadium.There are signs that they are starting to make the Keepmoat a bit of a fortress, but Saturday’s game was too close for comfort.

Sunday’s FA Cup first round draw was kind to Rovers and the home draw against Blue Square North side Bradford Park Avenue shouldn’t present them with too many problems.

That said, I was quite impressed by the West Yorkshire side when the teams met in a pre-season friendly at the Horsfall Stadium and drew 3-3.

If Doncaster Rovers want to boost their attendances they could do worse than sign local pop star Louis Tomlinson when he’s had enough of the music business.

Although Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders included such as Robbie Fowler, Mark Wright, Dean Windass, Paul Walsh and Brian Deane in his Rovers X1, it was the Doncaster-based One Direction heart-throb that most of the 9,000 plus crowd had come to see.

Creating an incredible atmosphere, thousands of teenage girls screamed their heads off every time that right-back Louis got on the ball.

Saunders caught the eye for the Rovers’ X1 in the second half - Callum Saunders that is.

The youngster, who is on Crewe’s books, scored his side’s consolation goal with a finish from a tight angle that his dad would have been proud of in his prime.

The Rovers’ boss had the chance to get among the goals himself in a five-man penalty shoot-out at the end of the match, but had his spot kick well saved by keeper Kevin Atkinson.

Whether you like One Direction they deserve credit for help to raise a five-figure sum for the Bluebell Wood Hospice.