sport

McDonnell battles to Brit win

Gavin McDonnell claimed the British super-bantamweight title with a thrilling stoppage win over Leigh Wood.

McDonnell was trailing on the scorecards after a torrid start, but suddenly turned the fight around with a savage sixth-round onslaught which forced the referee to intervene.

Gavin followed in the footsteps of his brother Jamie, a former British champion, the first pair of twins to win the Lonsdale belt.

Wood suffered an early setback as a slip was incorrectly called a knockdown in the opener, but the Nottingham man ignored this error and pumped out stiff jabs.

A right hand ripped through McDonnell's defences when Wood raised the tempo in the second and a body shot visibly hurt the Yorkshireman, who was left with a badly cut eye.

Wood's reflexes were razor sharp and he landed a sharp left hand in the third, but McDonnell gained a foothold in the fourth, catching his foe with crisp punches.

Traded

Both men traded shots at close-quarters in an evenly-contested fifth and Wood was being dragged into a dog-fight.

Wood's composed boxing skills deserted him in the sixth as McDonnell stepped up his assault, dazing his opponent with a relentless barrage of punches.

Referee Marcus McDonnell briefly halted the attack to check on the wilting Wood, but his namesake would not be denied and a flurry of punches forced the finish.

"Unbelievable, it's not going to sink in for a week or two," said McDonnell.

"I never worried. The game-plan was to break him down. He had a bit of success early on, but I'm always going to be there until the end. I knew I was going to stop him. It was just a matter of getting to him."