Sunderland flyweight boxer Kiaran MacDonald suffers defeat against experienced Colombian Yuberjen Martinez Rivas in the preliminary rounds of the men’s World Boxing Championships in Belgrade.

Sunderland boxer Kiaran MacDonald was defeated by Yuberjen Martinez Rivas in the preliminary rounds of the men’s World Boxing Championships in Belgrade.

The Wearside flyweight, who was one of eight men to be selected from the GB Boxing squad to compete at the championships, edged the opening round of the fight before losing a unanimous points decision by the five scoring judges.

MacDonald, an English national champion in 2016, earned multi-nations gold at a tournament in Lithuania earlier in the year but was pitted against a strong opponent in Colombian Martinez who won silver at the 2016 Olympic Games and followed that up with a Bronze in this event in 2017.

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MacDonald has been part of GB Boxing’s Podium squad for more than four years and acquitted himself well in the opening exchanges against the experienced 30-year-old.

Sunderland's Kiaran MacDonald was fighting in the World Championships in Belgrade (Credit Photo: GB Boxing)

In a high energy first round MacDonald was able to edge the judges scorecards by landing a beautiful left-right combination followed by a right hand uppercut in the final seconds.

But the fluid movement and variety of shots from the 24-year-old Sunderland man was nullified in rounds two and three as the class of the Colombian told.

Martinez forced MacDonald onto his back foot in round two landing a flurry of shots to the body and the head to sweep a unanimous 5-0 round from the judges, with the Wearsider looking fatigued towards the bell.

And the experienced Martinez continued to put his foot down in round three landing a heavy right hand early in proceedings to move him further ahead on the judges cards.

MacDonald continued to give everything on his World Championship debut, breaking the Colombian’s guard with a selection of straight jabs but it was Martinez who would end the contest stronger landing another combination in the final minute as the Olympic Silver medallist swept a unanimous decision on the judges scorecards after the final bell.

While it was a tough fight for the Wearside boxer, MacDonald can take a lot of positives from his World Championship venture as he looks to emulate stablemate Galal Yafai, who won flyweight Gold at Tokyo 2020, heading into the new Olympic cycle towards Paris 2024.

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