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Gavin McDonnell: Wood won’t wreck my Brit title dream



Doncaster man confident of landing coveted crown in Hull

Gavin McDonnell says he will win the battle of the unbeaten Super Bantamweights against Leigh Wood and win the British title at the Hull Ice Arena on February 22, live on Sky Sports.

The Doncaster man faces Nottingham’s Wood for the vacant crown with both men putting their ‘0’s’ on the line to land the coveted Lord Lonsdale belt and move into prime position in one of Britain’s most exciting divisions.

McDonnell claimed a comfortable points win over Josh Wale in his hometown in September in a final eliminator for the title, a performance that came hot on the heels of his Central Area title defence in July against Ross Burkinshaw where he retained the belt with a second round stoppage.

“Every fighter dreams of landing the British title and I’m no different,” said McDonnell. “We’re both 11-0 – it’s a good 50-50 fight and we’ll both be putting it all on the line.

“I’ve had a couple of eliminators and worked my way up to the fight with pure hard work and now I’m here.”

Unbeaten Sheffield fighter Kid Galahad vacated the title that McDonnell and Wood battle for on February 22, and Wood knows first-hand what it takes to win the British title as he shares the famous Ingle Gym in Sheffield with Galahad.

McDonnell expects Wood to display all the hallmarks of an Ingle Gym fighter and believes topping bills at the Doncaster Dome last year will enable him to handle the pressure of a title fight live on Sky Sports.

“He’s going to be tricky coming from the Ingle Gym, so we’re just going to prepare for the best Leigh Wood there is,” said McDonnell. “We’re going to turn up and beat him, simple. We knew that it was going to be Leigh a long time ago so we’ve had plenty of time to work on a game-plan.

“It’s the biggest show I’ve boxed on but I’ve topped bills in Doncaster recently so I’m used to big fights now and I’ve come through them with flying colours, but the British title is massive for me so there will be nerves, but I’m not going to let the chance slip through my fingers.”

McDonnell and Wood clash for the British title on a big night of boxing in Hull, with Olympic Gold medal hero Luke Campbell MBE boxing in the paid ranks for the fifth time against Norwich’s Scott Moises.

Hull’s Lightweight star Tommy Coyle defends his IBF International title against Argentine Daniel Brizuela, while Darren Hamilton can claim the Lonsdale belt outright if he beats Curtis Woodhouse in their tussle for the British Light Welterweight strap.

Manchester Lightweight John Murray is in eight-round action, bright young Hull talents Zak Collins, Joel Haigh and Charlie Payton are in action along with Manchester’s Hosea Burton and New Malden’s Lerrone Richards, and Liverpool Super Middleweight Tony Dodson aims to secure a Commonwealth title shot against Rocky Fielding on March 15.

Limited tickets remain on sale now priced £30, £40, £60 and £120 for VIPs and are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at matchroomboxing.com