By Kenny Leavett – Gavin McDonnell has promised to rise to the occasion and outshine his brother Jamie by becoming world champion to restore order back into the family name.
McDonnell takes on WBA super-bantamweight champion Daniel Roman for his 118lbs title in Chicago this Saturday on the undercard of Jessie Vargas vs Thomas Dulorme.
It will be the 32-year-old’s second chance at world title honours but with twin brother Jamie losing his WBA bantamweight strap to Naoya Inoue last time out in May, the challenger from Doncaster is determined to regain glory and capture the hearts of the boxing world.
McDonnell has been quoted as saying “I’ve always been second best to our kid but this time around, he is going to be in my shadow,”
“I am looking forward to being the top dog of the family. It is just one those little things that can make the difference and that has motivated me for years.
“It’s going to be my time, all about me and I am going to give a bit back to Team McDonnell and the family name.
“When I win I will put it out there and hopefully it will inspire him to get another crack at a world title and get back where he belongs.”
McDonnell will be boxing for the first time outside of the UK, having travelled around the world with his brother, and is confident of taking America by storm.
Roman will be making the third defence of the WBA championship that he won on the road out in Japan last September and has not tasted defeat for over 5 years but while McDonnell admits he is “decent”, he believes there will be a new man standing victorious by the end of Saturday night.
“He’s a good fighter, who’s beaten a lot of young kids and is a worthy champion,” said McDonnell.
“He comes forward and is a typical Mexican who wants to fight. He won’t be running away, that’s for sure, he is going to be there to be hit.
“From what I’ve seen of him, he is decent but I think I will beat him, as long as I stick to the game plan.
“We will put that into effect and even if his work-rate is high, no-one can out-work me anyway. I really am looking forward to my new journey, and this is the start.
“I genuinely believe this will be the best performance of my career and I think a lot of people will be surprised when I come over here and claim the world title – and look good doing it.”
Watch the action from Chicago with Jessie Vargas vs Thomas Dulorme, Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Johnson, Daniel Roman vs Gavin McDonnell and Jarrell Miller vs Tomasz Adamek, 2am, Sunday, Sky Sports Action