Just when you think there is nothing more to be said in praise of Jamie McDonnell, he writes another piece of history.
When he won his first world title two years ago, claiming the IBF crown under the stars at the Keepmoat, there was a debate on these pages as to whether he was Doncaster’s greatest ever sportsperson.
Two years on, can there be any doubt about it?
Debate will rage over the legitimacy of the WBA title he currently holds, given its ‘regular’ monicker and the presence of another world bantamweight champion for that organisation.
But the records show he won a second world title last year. And now they show that he successfully defended that title against one of the division’s hottest prospects in Tomoki Kameda.
Of all of achievements, the one he pulled off last Saturday in the heat of a Texan afternoon was probably the greatest, even before you consider the troubled build-up to the biggest payday of his career.
Not many British fighters win 50-50 world title fights in America. Even fewer take narrow points decisions, particularly against fighters like Kameda who had been marked as a breakout star for American terrestrial television’s boxing revolution.
McDonnell has long been under-appreciated outside his home town and the most passionate of boxing fans. But the tide may finally be shifting if Twitter was anything to go by on Saturday night.
Fight fans both at home and across the pond delighted in what was a thrilling bout and another warrior-like performance from McDonnell. It helped the fight was broadcast to every home in America on CBS and on the Premier Boxing Champions plaform, which could become the dominant force in global boxing. But the important thing is that plenty of US fans want to see McDonnell again.
Ultimately, matter of profile are insignificant if the skills are not there to back it up. Fight fans see through bloated records and mis-matches.
To recover from a third round knockdown and at least a three point deficit heading into the second half of the fight against one of the division’s best showed McDonnell’s credentials as a true warrior.
But once again, his biggest achievements could be ahead of him. Becoming a two-weight world champion is the new goal and that puts him on a collision course with superb bantamweight kings Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton.
He will be labelled the underdog once again but McDonnell is used to that. And would you really bet against him writing another piece of history?