McDonnell makes Inom pay
Jamie McDonnell took the first step towards another world title shot by stopping Bernard Inom in the seventh round.
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The Doncaster man was stripped of his IBF super-bantamweight belt last month after failing to agree a mandatory defence, but he took out his frustrations on his veteran opponent.
McDonnell pumped out stinging jabs in the first and the diminutive Frenchman felt the power of some early body shots.
A string of jabs snapped back Inom's head in the second, but McDonnell was caught with a crisp right before he replied with a body shot in the final seconds.
McDonnell chipped away at Inom's defences in the third and a flurry of punches sent him backpeddling to the ropes, while the 40-year-old was tagged by more stiff jabs in the fourth.
Slack defensive work from McDonnell was exposed by the occasional right hand from Inom in the fifth, but the Yorkshire upped the pace in the sixth and staggered his foe with a barrage of punches.
McDonnell stalked Inom in the seventh and a series of spiteful body shots forced the referee to wave off the one-sided contest.
Stuart Hall, who was beaten by McDonnell in 2011, will fight Vusi Malinga for the vacant belt and the former champion is hoping to face the winner.
"The last few months it's been terrible, it's all mental," said McDonnell. "I had to stay strong, I had to stay in the gym. So onwards and upwards
"Stuey Hall and Vusi Malinga are fighting. I'm still the world champion. I'll be hunting that belt down and I'll be getting it back. I beat Stuey Hall once and I'll beat him again. If Malinga wins, I'll go and beat him. I'll stand him on his head."