Boxing weekend review: Jamie McDonnell beats Stuart Hall
We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing, including Jamie McDonnell's defeat of Stuart Hall
Boxer of the weekend
Andre Berto. The first fight after a boxer loses their unbeaten record is often just a warm-up to try and build their confidence and regain lost momentum – but this was not the case for Welterweight Andre Berto. Four months after losing to Victor Ortiz on points, Berto was back in action, defeating once beaten IBF Welterweight champion Jan Zaveck of Slovenia. On Saturday night in Biloxi, Mississippi, Berto and Zaveck traded punches to the delight of the fans for five entertaining rounds. However, the Slovenian’s face did not prove as resilient as his opponent’s, as he suffered cuts on both his eyelids in the fifth round, the one above his right was particularly bad. In between the fifth and sixth Zaveck confirmed he could not see out of his right eye, forcing his corner to end the bout, much to the belt holder’s dismay. Berto was ahead on the scorecards when the fight was stopped and had been the busier of the two, but Zaveck was holding his own and the bout looked to heading to an entertaining end. Regardless, Berto showed once again that he is an entertaining boxer who now goes out swinging every time he fights. He’ll never beat the best because of this but he will be involved in intriguing and popular bouts as long as he keeps it up.
Fight of the weekend
Jamie McDonnell v Stuart Hall. This fight put together Britain’s two best 118 pound boxers for the British, Commonwealth and European titles bantamweight titles in Doncaster on Saturday. In the first two rounds, British champion, Hall, rattled European and Commonwealth champion McDonnell with his superior power and pressure fighting on the inside. From round three onwards, McDonnell began to utilise his prowess from distance, using his lanky frame and fast combinations to dictate the tempo of the bout while staying away from the ropes where Hall was at his best. McDonnell dominated the middle rounds, outworking his opponent with combinations, whilst Hall looked for the big right hand too often. Despite upping his work rate in the last three, Hall was unable to reassert himself in the match and McDonnell had arguably his best round in the 12th, easily lasting the distance. The judges scored the bout 115-113, 116-114, 116-113 in McDonnell’s favour. Hall, going 12 rounds for the first time in his career can continue to do well at domestic level whilst McDonnell can look forward to one more defence of his European title before challenging for a world title in 2012.
Knockout of the weekend
Eloy Perez. With only five knockouts in his previous 24 fights, Perez, a super featherweight contender, is not who any expected to be delivering a brutal knockout this weekend. However, against Daniel Jimenez, a man who has only been stopped twice in his 24-fight career, Perez proved otherwise. Knocking his shocked opponent down twice in the first, once with a big right hand and then with a left, Perez found power from somewhere. At the start of the second Jimenez tried to reassert himself in the bout, but was sent spinning into the ropes by a sweet left less a minute into the round. Despite trying to get up, Jiminez did not look good and the referee ended the bout, giving Perez the victory far sooner than he could have imagined. In front of his home fans and on national television, Perez did his career nothing but good with this uncharacteristic performance.
Decision of the weekend
Jan Zaveck’s corner. At the end of the fifth round Zaveck was bleeding profusely from a cut on his right eyelid, which had swollen the eye almost completely shut, as well as bleeding from a similarly placed cut on his left eyelid. Zaveck wanted to continue but his corner refused after learning that their man was struggling to see. It was disappointing to see such a thrilling and hotly-contested bout end because of a cut but it was the right to decision to make. A boxer’s health is the first priority in this brutal and unforgiving sport, and Zaveck’s corner knew that. Now he can go away and recover, protect his eyes from further damage and fight on when he is fully fit. The man from Slovenia won a lot of fans in America in this bout and he will not struggle to fight stateside again when he returns.