Former bantamweight world titleholder Jamie McDonnell retires from boxing
He wasn’t a fight fan but Jamie McDonnell won everything there is to win in a decorated 14-year professional career.
The Doncaster, England native announced his retirement via Instagram on Wednesday and does so as a former English, British, Commonwealth, European and world champion. The now 35-year-old was also rated No. 1 by The Ring at bantamweight, behind then-champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, for several months.
Not long after turning professional, in 2005, McDonnell suffered back-to-back defeats to Chris Edwards and future world titleholder Lee Haskins. At that point in his career, no one would have pegged the lanky technician for great things, but his hard work and determination paid off.
Notable victories came against Stuart Hall, Julio Ceja, Tomoki Kameda (twice) and Liborio Solis. The Solis decision, in November 2016, was contentious and a direct rematch resulted in a no-contest. McDonnell’s finest moments would undoubtedly be the unanimous decision triumphs over Kameda, who was favorite in both contests and 31-0 before facing the Englishman.
Unbeaten in over a decade, McDonnell’s run ended at the hands of Japanese power-puncher and pound-for-pound entrant Naoya Inoue in May 2018. He would return, just over a year later, for a marking time fight at featherweight and win a six-round decision. That was McDonnell’s final professional outing and he exits the sport with a fine record of 30-3-1 (13 KOs).
“At the age of 35 I feel that it’s too late to make a comeback,” he said in a statement. “I have achieved more than I ever thought I would: English champion, British champion, Commonwealth champion, European champion, IBF world champion and WBA [regular] champion.
“I fought the best to be the best! I fell short against one of the best fighters on the planet (Inoue), and I think if I come back now at this age it would put my life’s hard work to shame.
“I can truly say I have had a blast and lived the life!”
The Ring would like to extend best wishes to Jamie McDonnell in retirement.
Tom Gray is Managing Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Gray_Boxing.
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