Brook vs Rabchenko: Gavin McDonnell outpoints Gamal Yafai
By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 03/03/18 11:23pm
Gavin McDonnell proved his experience as he cruised to a unanimous decision victory over domestic rival Gamal Yafai on Saturday night in Sheffield.
The Doncaster super-bantamweight produced the better work rate and boxing ability over twelve rounds, working behind a potent jab, as he laid claim to the WBC International title.
Yafai, 'The Beast', was noticeably fatigued as he went the full twelve rounds for just the second time in his career and eventually fell short, the judges scoring the bout 117-113 and 116-112 twice in McDonnell's favour.
As expected, the domestic clash began a tightly-contested one and it was Yafai who got the better of the first couple with his more aggressive come-forward approach.
If the first couple of rounds went Yafai's way, then the next few were certainly in the Doncaster man's favour, McDonnell dictating the action, bouncing around to box well on the outside.
With the fight evenly poised going into the mid-rounds, it was McDonnell who, from there, started to take over with the cleaner and more accurate work, 'The Beast' beginning to look languished, swinging wildly on occasion.
Well in control, the Doncaster former world title challenger continued to dominate and he further upped the ante in the tenth to pour on the pressure, repeatedly finding a home for his jabs and hooks, Yafai looking more visibly drained with every shot that breached his guard.
To his credit, Yafai, 26, showed unquestionable heart as he bit down on his gumshield to stay in there and fight on to hear the final bell.
Speaking afterwards, McDonnell said: "Experience was always going to be key, 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 was 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."