Gavin McDonnell bullish ahead of clash with Alexander Egorov
Last Updated: 17/03/15 3:39pm
Gavin McDonnell knows beating Alexander Egorov to win the vacant European super-bantamweight title in Sheffield on March 28 will propel him to world level.
The unbeaten Yorkshireman takes on the Ukrainian on the undercard of Kell Brook’s IBF welterweight title defence against Jo Jo Dan, live on Sky Sports, and wants to capitalise on the momentum generated by the unanimous decision over Vusi Malinga last time out.
McDonnell - twin brother of WBA bantamweight champion Jamie - said: "Coming off the draw with Josh Wale, to go into a big fight like that against Malinga is what I needed to show where I belong.
"Pulling off a big win like that has done me the world of good and I am proud that I stepped up to the plate when I needed to.
"We knew what Vusi was. He isn’t the fastest on his feet when you are up against him. We thought if we kept it long he would have problems with movement and that was the gameplan; keep it long, use my height and my reach and win plenty of rounds that way.
"The fight was about getting the confidence for myself and showing other people that I do belong at that level. I had seen Vusi fight and coming off the draw I said it was a fight I'd be confident in.
“There were a few ways I could have gone; I could have gone back and had an easier fight, build the record a bit, I could have fought Jazza Dickens, or I could have taken the step that I did. I took that step and it paid off, and it has filled me with confidence more than anything.
"It has put me back to where I believe I was. A draw knocks your confidence but coming back with a big win like that is massive.
I believe I can be a world champion. I have seen first-hand with Jamie that it can be achieved if you put the work in. The confidence is there and I am willing to put the work in, so it is about getting the right fights at the right times.
Gavin McDonnell on brother Jamie (pictured)
"I believe I can be a world champion. I have seen first-hand with Jamie that it can be achieved if you put the work in. The confidence is there and I am willing to put the work in, so it is about getting the right fights at the right times. I know I am not a world-class operator but I am willing to mix it and learn and I am hoping that one day I can get a chance at a world title and win one."
Looking ahead to facing Egorov, who also boasts an unblemished record, McDonnell added: "I expect the hardest fight, the biggest puncher, the fastest hands; I have to build him up to be something that he isn’t.
"When you get in there and they aren’t as good as you think they are, it is a nice bonus. But if you underestimate them and get in the ring you can get a bit of a shock. I tend to over-hype them, build them up to myself. I tell myself it will be a 12-round hard fight, which is what I am preparing for.
"At the minute we are both on a mission, picking up as many belts and having as many achievements as we can. When we do retire we will be able to sit down and say we did this, we did that, and I think that is when we will appreciate what we managed to achieve."
Watch Live Fight Night, 7.30pm March 28, Sky Sports 1