WITH the news that Hozumi Hasegawa had retired from boxing, his WBC super-bantamweight title became vacant and it was subsequently announced that the top two contenders – Rey Vargas and Gavin McDonnell – would box for the belt. McDonnell – twin brother of top bantamweight Jamie McDonnell – is excited at the prospect of his first attempt at world honours.
How long have you known about the title shot?
We’ve known a while, sort of since Hasegawa won the title. He said something like ‘win or lose, I’ll retire’ before the fight. So we heard that he was going to retire and if he does we’ll be ready. It’s been a few weeks we’ve known but it’s hard to get too excited. You hear somebody’s retiring or something and you think, ‘oh that’s me next in line,’ but you don’t want to be too excited because if they don’t retire you’re going to be devastated, aren’t you? Not many people retire after they win a title so credit to him, retiring on top, but most people don’t do it. I’m always in the gym usually but this time I made sure I kept my weight down just in case.