DONCASTER’S Gavin McDonnell is back on the title trail and hasn’t given up hope of winning an elusive world title.
The 33-year-old returns to the ring against Devon’s Jamie Speight in Rotherham tonight and hopes to shake off a few cobwebs before resuming his quest to reach boxing’s pinnacle.
McDonnell, who has recently joined Stefy Bull and Ray Doyle’s training stable, has twice contested world honours, falling short against WBC super-bantamweight king Rey Vargas in 2017 and WBA champ Daniel Roman last October, but he’s a firm believer in the ‘third time’s a charm’ adage.
“The comeback is on. I’ve been there, seen it and done it all other than win a world title,” Gavin, 20-2-2 (5 KOs), said at this week’s final press conference.
“I’m hoping that this will get the wheels in motion and Stefy and the team can pull something out of the bag and get me back where I belong and that’s in big fights.
“I still genuinely believe I can win a world title but whether the opportunity will be there at featherweight, I don’t know.
“But what I do want is tasty fights that’ll get my juices flowing because I know I’m 33 but there’s still plenty in the tank.
“This is the start of things to come and I’ll show everybody. Give me the fights and I’ll take them with both hands.”
Whilst the Magna Centre in Rotherham is far away from the bright lights of Chicago, where McDonnell boxed Roman last year, he still feels he can be part of something special this evening.
His stablemate Terri Harper vies to become British boxing’s youngest ever female world champion when she takes on Nozipho Bell for the vacant IBO super-featherweight and McDonnell feels privileged to be providing chief support.
“I’ve been on the biggest shows in boxing all around the world and this one means a lot to me because hopefully Terri can make history,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being part of it in my comeback fight.”
Stefy Bull Promotions in association with Ryan Rhodes’s 26RR Promotions presents an evening of professional boxing entitled ‘The World Awaits’ on Friday 19 July at the Magna Centre, Rotherham.
As well Harper v Bell and Gavin McDonnell’s returns to action, Lee Appleyard boxes in his hometown for the first time, Jason Cunningham keeps busy ahead of a potential British super-bantamweight title shot, and unbeaten Sheffield prospect Callum ‘Hitman’ Hancock continues his education.
Also in action are debutants Callum Beardow and Cam Shaw, Sheffield’s Jamaican-born puncher Nicolie Campbell and fast-rising super-lightweight Levi Kinsiona.