By Alexey Sukachev
British bantamweight Jamie McDonnell (13-2-1, 5 KOs) scored the win of his life so far, outpointing awkward and skillful ex-champion Ian Napa (19-8, 1 KO) in an action-packed crowd-pleasing yet rather controversial twelve-rounder for Napa’s British and a vacant Commonwealth 118lb titles.
McDonnell looked perfect in the starting two rounds, circling around a bit rusty Napa and peppering him with frequent right jab and adding counter left hooks on occasion. Napa looked clumsy and failed to define the distance he would prefer to work at. After the even third stanza, the tiny (155 cm) native of Zimbabwe found both his rhythm and distance, luring McDonnell out of his fast-moving mode and forcing him to work in close quarters where Napa played possum and the attacking challenger just failed to target his elusive Mayweather-like opponent.
In round six, McDonnell came back with zeal but as the fight progressed it became obvious he was tiring second after second while Napa increased the tempo of his attacks and started to tag Jamie McDonnell with his hard right and even with his right uppercut from the defensive shell. Napa looked better and better as rounds went on and seemingly took the eighth, the ninth and the tenth rounds. Sensing the fight was flowing to the other harbour, McDonnell bursted with the hellish fire and brought war to willing-to-trade Napa. Round twelve was the best of the night (and probably of 2010 so far) and had the whole partisan crowd on their feet with McDonnell taking a little edge.
At the end, both Fightnews and Ian John-Lewis scored it 115-114 – for Napa, Dave Paris had it 114-115 – for McDonnell and Richie Davis scored an amazing and controversial 112-117 – for the challenger. Jim Watt’s Sky Sports card read as 116-113 – for visibly disappointed Ian Napa, who will next fight Jerome Arnould for a vacant EBU crown in two months.
Rising flyweight star Ashley “Flash Ash” Sexton (9-0, 5 KOs) captured his first pro title (a vacant English 112 lb belt) with an eye-oppening, fascinating one-punch knockout of previously unstopped Usman Akhmed (6-3-1). It was a thunderous right hand that had Akhmed down and immediately out at the end of the second minute of the fight.
British super middleweight prospect George Groves (8-0, 6 KOs) became the first ont to stop rugged Bulgaria-based Armenian Grigor Saruhonian (2-3). Adam Booth-trained 21-year old decked his foe twice in the second and finished him off in the third with a picture-perfect liver shot.