Doncaster favourite Jamie McDonnell put himself in line for a
world title shot by seeing off tough Nicaraguan Darwin Zamora in
The 26-year-old Yorkshireman wants to be the first ever world
titlist from his home town and is likely to get his chance against
Mexico's unbeaten IBF champion Leo Santa Cruz at some stage in the
Originally McDonnell was set face former world title challenger
Vusi Malinga in a final eliminator, but was instead set the task of
facing Zamora when the South African was forced to withdraw.
Thankfully, the fight kept its eliminator status, and McDonnell
seized the opportunity with both fists as he fired off his full
arsenal of punches from the opening bell.
Indeed, the gulf in class was evident in the first session as
the Brit rocked his foe back with a jab and followed up with
In each of the rounds that followed, McDonnell continued to land
flush blows to both the head and the body, but Zamora proved his
toughness by biting down on his gumshield and fighting his way
through the storm.
But by the eighth the visitor, now bleeding close to his left
eye from a clash of heads, was beginning to unravel and more
quality punches rained in before the South American decided to quit
on his stool at the end of the stanza.
"The pressure was massive, coming out in a big arena like this,
but I knew what I can do," McDonnell, now 20 - 2 - 1 (9 KOs), told
"I know I'm the best in the world at bantamweight, I've just got
to get out there and prove it and that's what I've done
"I felt awesome in there. I was picking my shots and he hit me
with a little body shot but apart from that I was beating him up. I
thought the ref would stop and then he'd come back with one and
keep me on my toes but that's what you get at this level."
He added: "I've won every title going. It was my dream to be a
British champion and you take every step as it comes. I've won the
British, Commonwealth and European so the next step is the