Gavin marches on

Gavin McDonnell  after his win over Ross Burkinshaw
Gavin McDonnell after his win over Ross Burkinshaw

For Gavin McDonnell and Ross Burkinshaw, their Central Area super bantamweight title bout at the Dome in Doncaster represented a crossroads fight for their respective careers.

And it was McDonnell who ploughed straight ahead as he demolished Burkinshaw inside two rounds to retain his title and strengthen his claims for a tilt at a major title.

For Burkinshaw, major questions will need to be addressed before he chooses the next direction for his professional career – if he has not already completed an irreversible turn down a dead end.

Injuries have plagued a promising career for the Sheffield fighter and he has looked unable to find the groove that took him to English title glory and British title contendership.

Those previous honours marked him out as a worthy opponent for Dunscroft’s rising star McDonnell who took the first step towards emulating a British title challenge with an eliminator win in his last bout.

What played out in less than six minutes on Saturday night made the two fighters look a world apart.

Burkinshaw took the fight to McDonnell from the off, not allowing his opponent to settle in the first couple of minutes of the bout.

But once McDonnell found his range, there only ever looked like being one winner.

McDonnell seemingly could do what he wanted against Burkinshaw, plugging away with jabs and body shots with great accuracy.

A big right sent Burkinshaw down to the mat midway through the second round and from there, McDonnell sensed the end was near.

After Burkinshaw made the count, McDonnell pounced, opening him up with a right and unleashing a barrage of shots.

Another huge straight rattled Burkinshaw and sent him down for the second time.

He rose to his feet once more as the round ended but referee Michael Alexander had seen enough, waving off the bout to send McDonnell and Burkinshaw off in opposite directions.

An enthralling and entertaining clash of styles ended in disappointing defeat for Sheffield welterweight John Fewkes.

One time Curtis Woodhouse conqueror Dale Miles was simply too big and strong for Fewkes, whose slippery skills could only keep him out of trouble for short periods of the eight rounder.

Rotherham’s Tommy Coward returned to the ring after a year-long absence to outclass Max Maxwell over six rounds, his simple jabbing approach earning a 60-55 points win.

Sheffield’s Sam Sheedy barely got out of second gear to extend his 100 per cent record to 10 fights with a 59-56 points win over Simone Lucas.

There was nothing particularly flashy from middleweight Sheedy, resulting in a few close rounds but the result only ever looked like going one way.

Shiregreen’s Dave Fidler was given plenty to think about by Doncaster’s Adam Jones and was somewhat fortunate to escape with a draw.

Jones downed Fidler in the first with a big left hook and coped well with Fidler’s high-pressure approach by using the jab.

Barnsley duo Andy Townend and Robbie Barrett both bounced back from defeats in their last contests with wins. Classy Townend felled Jake Smith in the second while Barrett comfortably saw off late-change opponent Billy Smith.

Doncaster’s hot super middleweight prospect Luke Crowcroft earned a 40-37 win over Dean Walker while Harworth pair Josh Morgan and Matt Brierley were successful against Kristian Laight and Courtney Owen respectively, the latter a third round stoppage.