The 39 year old Galway light middleweight defeated recent British title challenger Shayne Singleton at the Manchester Arena on the Joseph Parker v Hughie Fury undercard.
A slight underdog, McDonagh claimed a 96:94 win on the referee’s scorecard following a competitive ten rounder.
A heated build-up had seen the pair clash at both the press conference and the weigh-in, but McDonagh showed a cool head to claim a big win.
The Peter Fury-trained veteran had the perfect gameplan, and banked early rounds using simple shots and an extremely well-timed right hand which had Singleton’s face bloodied by the midway point.
Singleton came on well but, despite an 11 year age ‘disadvantage,’ it was McDonagh who finished the stronger in the final two rounds.
The English fighter, still perhaps enraged from the antics of fight week, turned down McDonagh’s peace offerings at the end, and it was the Irishman who would take the win – stretching his current unbeaten run to 11.
The victory sees McDonagh improve his record to 28(3)-28(2)-1, while Singleton drops to 23(8)-3(2)-1.
The fight had pitted EBU-EU #18 McDonagh against the organisation’s #17, and the eventual goal of the European title certainly looks a lot more realistic now for ‘The Connemara Kid.’
Photo Credit: Aneel Ahmad (@aneelahmad)