DONCASTER, England -- Jamie McDonnell won the vacant IBF bantamweight title when he edged the previously unbeaten Julio Ceja with a controversial majority decision in his home ring on Saturday.
The favoured Ceja, who entered with a 24-0 record and 22 knockouts, threw meaty shots throughout the 12 rounds, none better than a left hook to McDonnell's chin in the 11th.
But McDonnell absorbed everything thrown by the 20-year-old Mexican, and a strong final round persuaded the judges to give the local the fight with scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 118-110.
"I was actually enjoying it," McDonnell (21-2-1, 9 KO) said after claiming his first world title. "He had a big record with 22 knockouts but I dug in because I wanted this belt. I controlled that fight."