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Jamie McDonnell beats Stuart Hall to win the British Bantamweight Title
There were cheers at the Doncaster Dome last night as twenty-five year old Jamie McDonnell won a unanimous decision over Stuart Hall after taking an exciting boxing fight the full twelve rounds. McDonnell (18-2  7KOs), already the EBU European and Commonwealth champion, added the British Bantamweight belt to his trinket collection. He is now the undisputed best bantamweight fighter in Britain and will no doubt be looking for a world title challenge soon. Stuart Hall (11-1  7KOs), thirty one, was understandably disappointed, but he took his loss well considering how much his British title meant to him.

How important was the McDonnell – Hall fight?
When he beat ex-European champion Ian Napa to win the British belt, it was only Stuart Hall's second year as a professional boxer and his ninth fight. His rise in the British ranks was astonishing, as was his title win over Napa, where most had him down as the underdog. After winning the belt, Hall took an interview to talk about his future.. He was sat down but he didn't betray the tiredness that must have been in his bones. When asked about capturing the British Bantamweight Belt against the odds, he explained how proud he was:
“This is my belt for life. It's unbelievable”
Immediately after this, Hall issued a challenge. There was only one name in his mind on the domestic scene now that he was champion, and that was Jamie McDonnell. With such a meteoric rise in the boxing ranks, Hall often found he had something to prove. He was hard to take as the real deal after so few fights, so a match with the #1 ranked British bantamweight was a logical step. Hall said about a fight with McDonnell:
“Let's get in the ring and let's get it on...I think I'll knock him out”.
For McDonnell's part, the match-up with Hall was a much needed boost to a career that was in danger of flagging. He had started very well as a professional, coming through his first nine fights undefeated. Then, from December 2007 to March 2008 something changed for him. He suddenly started to lose.

First he was defeated on a split decision to journeyman Chris Edwards, a thirty-five year old with almost as many losses as wins (16-14-3 4KOs). Three months later the man from Doncaster was beaten by “Playboy”Lee Haskins (22-2-0 11KOs), this time a talented fighter with a good record. McDonnell couldn't take any solace in his opponents statistics, however. After two defeats in a row, his fledgeling career was on the brink.

The young fighter isn't one to give up, and in September 2009 he got on the comeback trail by scoring a technical knockout over tomato can Anthony Hanna (22-97-9 8KOs).This set a spark in him and he went on a rampage, beating another eight fighters. Each bout was an increase in level of opponent and it give his confidence a much needed prop-up. Going into the match with Hall, McDonnell felt fresh and back to his best. He now had something to prove.

The Fight
The fight itself was a brilliant advert for the start of the British boxing season. Both men gave everything and went into the ring quite obviously geared up for the twelve rounds ahead. Hall started off in a typically aggressive manner, looking to find McDonnell's weakness early on and exploit it. McDonnell responded to Hall's assault by knocking the wind out of him with a series of body shots.

From here, McDonnell fought a clever fight. He outboxed his opponent and in the last rounds in particular, he enjoyed a domination of Hall. The only hope Hall had going into the last round was to knock McDonnell off his feet. He tried and tried, but in three minutes he couldn't do it. When the last bell rang, his tired arms slumped to his side and he resigned himself to the fact that the title he was so excessively proud of  now belongs to the twenty-five year old McDonnell from Doncaster.

Where do McDonnell and Hall go from here?
For McDonnell, the most obvious route is straight up. He owes it to himself now to see if he can cut it at the very top level. Unfortunately, in a superb division McDonnell's prospects of a world title are not good. Casting an eye to the very top, fighters like Nonito Donaire, Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko are on another level from him. He should be able to work his way into the top fifteen or twenty though, and from there we will just have to see how far he can push himself. Still, he is in a better position than the man he beat.

Hall's focus will now be on getting another domestic title . Immediately, he will want to bounce back because there is still some momentum behind him that will drain if he does not return to action. He is a fighter who runs on confidence, and his ego will need a quick topping up if he is to have any further meaningful existence in the Bantamweight division. Expect him to get back in the ring soon, and win. Who knows, maybe we will see a rematch considering what an excellent fight this was.

This was the exact start to the season that British boxing needed. We have plenty to look forward to over the coming months, and no doubt you will have cast your eye over to fighters like Tyson Fury, Amir Khan, Carl Froch, Kell Brook and Darren Barker. This British scene is bustling at the minute so make sure you watch as many of the fights as you can.