Jamie McDonnell proclaimed his career "back on track" after he became a two-time bantamweight world champion with a 10th-round knockout victory over Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat on Saturday.
McDonnell, the IBF champion until he was stripped of the belt for his out-of-the-ring dealings last year, knocked Na Rachawat to the canvas with a stunning left hook to claim the vacant WBA title, before announcing his desire to unify the division.
Na Rachawat started strongly, but his lack of elite pace and power was exposed by McDonnell as the fight went on. The Doncaster, England, fighter was well ahead on the scorecards even before he dropped his opponent.
"It means everything," McDonnell told Sky Sports. "It gets things back on track. [Losing the title] took a year out of my life, and now I’ll look to get a unification fight with anyone else in this division.
"Stick me in with any of them and I’ll dust them."
This was a solid performance from the 28-year-old, who fought second on the undercard of the eagerly anticipated Carl Froch vs. George Groves rematch. The contest started slowly, with both fighters feeling each other out to a great extent, before a quick flurry in the third round from Na Rachawat seemed to open up a cut above McDonnell's left eye.
The Thai fighter showed hunger and intent throughout the 10 rounds; however, except for that moment, he was unable to match McDonnell's ringcraft and poise as the Brit ticked off round after round with sensible, controlled bursts from range.
Na Rachawat grew more and more desperate as the fight wore on, although he was hampered somewhat by his tendency to fade as rounds came to their conclusion. McDonnell was ordered by his corner to take advantage of that weakness, and eventually he did: He drew Na Rachawat into him before dropping him with a tight left hook that caught the 31-year-old flush on the chin.
"Fantastic support here tonight," McDonnell added. "It was brilliant. I felt at ease in there. As soon as the first cut went I could feel it, but I got to my boxing, used my legs, and got out of danger.
"He was tough and kept coming and coming. In the end he walked onto a hook, I surprised myself."
All quotes taken from Sky Box Office's live broadcast.
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