Gavin McDonnell scored a unanimous decision victory over Gamal Yafai at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, claiming the WBC Super-Bantamweight International title as the spoils of war.
At the end of the contest, the judges at ringside scored the fight; 116-112, 116-112 and 117-113, all in favour of McDonnell.
Early in the contest, Yafai performed well as the aggressor, but fatigue soon set in, and it was clear the Birmingham native had little left in the tank as the fight entered the latter stages.
McDonnell found his feet after the opening rounds, working well from behind the jab. As the fight entered the middle stages, McDonnell started to rack up to rounds, capitalising on Yafai’s fatigue, and landing with considerable success as the bout reached the championship rounds.
Speaking to Sky Sports in a post-fight interview, McDonnell credited Yafai with showing real heart in the contest, but felt the step up in level for Yafai was too much, too soon.
“Experience was always going to be key,” said McDonnell. “You can’t jump levels in boxing. Credit to Gamal but to jump from British level to world-class is too much.
“I had more in the tank there, I used my head and got a good, comfortable win. If I were to lose tonight it would have killed me; I knew my career was on the line. Onward and upwards now.
“I had size, reach, weight and experience. I just want big fights, and as long as I’m moving in the right direction, a world title will come.”