Frustration for McDonnell as cut ends final fight at bantamweight

Referee Luis Pabon calls for a time out as blood pours from Jamie McDonnell's brow. Picture: Lawrence Lustig
Referee Luis Pabon calls for a time out as blood pours from Jamie McDonnell's brow. Picture: Lawrence Lustig
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It was hardly the way arguably the best in the division would have chosen to bow out of his weight class but Jamie McDonnell does so as a reigning champion.

The Doncaster fighter woke up this morning still the WBA bantamweight champion but with a nasty wound above his left eye.

It was that wound that saw his rematch with Liborio Solis in Monte Carlo ended after less than three rounds.

McDonnell’s face was a crimson mask after a hefty clash of heads in the opening seconds of the third round opened up a cut on his brow.

Though the referee allowed him to reach the final 15 seconds of the third, the ringside doctor would allow no more as he declared the 31-year-old in no position to continue.

Due to rules, the fight was declared a no contest with McDonnell retaining his title.

A kick to the bottom rope as the fight was waved off told a story of frustration for the Hatfield man.

He went into the ring determined to put to bed controversy which has hung over his head for the full year since his first meeting with Solis.

The scorecards on that night handed McDonnell a comfortable points win, leading to outrage from plenty who saw Solis as the victor.

McDonnell admitted criticism had eaten away at him for the last 12 months and he was ready to secure an emphatic victory before moving up to super bantamweight.

The energetic Solis got the better of the first round but McDonnell began to establish control in the second, using his considerable size advantage which proved such a strong attribute in his rise to supremacy at bantamweight.

After the doctor allowed the fight to continue following the clash of heads, both men threw plenty of shots with Solis looking to take advantage of McDonnell’s injury.

A conclusive ending was denied when the fight was rightly waved off, leading to frustration for both men.

One must feel for Solis who waited a long time for his second shot at McDonnell. He should surely be at the front of the queue for a fight for the vacant crown.

And sympathy must go to McDonnell who was denied the chance to bid farewell to the bantamweight division on a truly high note.