sport

McDonnell claims WBA title

Jamie McDonnell has been crowned WBA bantamweight champion after a 10th-round knock-out win over Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat at Wembley Stadium.

The former British, Commonwealth and European champion was made to work hard for his victory by a feisty and determined opponent but the Doncaster fighter grew into the battle and took the title with a superb left hook.

The pair were fighting on the undercard of Carl Froch and George Groves' rematch at the national stadium but there was much at stake too for McDonnell, who was stripped of his IBF strap last October.

The first two rounds were tight but McDonnell enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges with a series of blows to Na Rachawat's body.

Na Rachawat came back strong in round three however, and while McDonnell landed the better shots in round four, the Doncaster fighter was struggling to assert any sustained pressure.

His Thai opponent continued to look the sharper of the two fighters but McDonnell was still getting more shots away and finished the fifth round on top, wobbling Na Rachawat with two well-placed hits.

Na Rachawat's relentless start began to fade in round six however as McDonnell started to land some clean punches and enjoy more success with his right hand.

The 28-year-old's technical superiority and endurance was beginning to tell in round nine but McDonnell's advantage was slim with Na Rachawat continuing to defend well under pressure.

Knowing he was down on points, the Thai fighter began to open up in round 10 though and McDonnell took full advantage.

As Na Rachawat pushed forward, McDonnell saw his opening and crashed a left hook into the face of his opponent who fell to the floor and was unable to answer the count.

McDonnell said after the fight: "It was brilliant. I felt at ease despite all his picking and poking - I thought I hit him with a few to slow him down but to his credit he kept coming.

"This means everything, this gets things back on track. I am world champion again.

"I am a two-time world champion. Stick me in the ring with anyone and I'll dust them. Boom. Goodnight."