Jamie McDonnell retains WBA belt with points victory over Liborio Solis

Jamie McDonnell retains WBA belt with points victory over Liborio Solis
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Jamie McDonnell lands a straight right hand on Liborio Solis as he successfully defends his WBA world title

Jamie McDonnell earned a unanimous points victory to retain his WBA bantamweight world title in Monte Carlo.

The Doncaster man was pushed all the way by Solis, a former super-flyweight world champion, in a below-par performance and finally earned a controversial points verdict after twelve gruelling and contentious rounds.

Scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 saw McDonnell earn victory and make the fifth successive defence of his WBA title.

Solis came out charging in the first round and set a fast tempo, quickly trapping the champion on the ropes and landing a succession of crisp punches that bloodied McDonnell’s nose.

The Venezuelan was clearly fired up and he kept the intensity levels high as he again landed some hurtful punches in the next few rounds, as McDonnell tried to establish his usually spiteful jab.

The hurtful punches continued to come in from Solis though, as he marched down his taller opponent as McDonnell struggled to stamp his authority on the fight.

Trainer David Coldwell tried to gee up and focus his Yorkshire charge in between rounds but as the fight reached the latter stages, Solis showed little sign of stopping the punishing assaults.

McDonnell’s usually tight defence had been regularly breached but he slowly began to grow into the fight and gain some momentum in the later rounds as Solis perhaps began to show some signs of tiring.

In the ninth, McDonnell had his best spell of the fight, landing his own sharp right hands to the head and body that eventually had Solis wobbled late on before the bell was a welcome saviour for the Venezuelan.

McDonnell has his hand raised after a hard-fought victory

The tenth was a similarly dominant round for McDonnell, but Solis refused to roll over and came back firing in the championship rounds.

The challenger gave it his all in a gutsy final finish, but eventually it was McDonnell who got the nod on the judges’ scorecards.

Afterwards, McDonnell said: “We wanted a hard 12 rounds, I felt in control. I’m a little gutted, listening to your comments. It is what it is.”

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