He may be in top physical condition but Jamie McDonnell admits he is still having to work hard to get his mind right.
The Hatfield bantamweight will return to the ring on Saturday night, opening a new chapter on his career after the controversial stripping of his IBF world title.
But political wrangling with estranged manager Dennis Hobson continues in the background.
“It is hard to get your mind on the job when things like this are going off,” McDonnell told the Free Press.
“I’m fully ready for this fight physically because I’ve been training for a long time now.
“But mentally, it’s been a bit of a struggle.
“I know when Saturday comes around that I’ll be fully focussed and in the right mindset to get the job done.
“But it’s not been the most ideal build-up.”
McDonnell was due to go before the British Boxing Board of Control this week to give his side of the story in the dispute with Hobson.
The hearing has been postponed until January.
He said: “It’s good in a way because it’s not disrupted this last week of training.
“But it’s not great that it’s going to be hanging over me for a couple of months.
“My lawyers are confident that I’ve got nothing to worry about. I’ll go there and be truthful and hopefully the Board will see my side of things.”
McDonnell will face Frenchman Bernard Inom over eight rounds in Manchester on Saturday night, his first bout since winning the IBF world title in bantamweight.
Inom is a former world title contender himself, albeit at flyweight, but has only fought once in the last two years.
The 40-year-old returned to the ring last month with a points win.
McDonnell said: “He’s not got a bad record, he’s won 22, knocked ten out, he’s only lost three times and he’s only been stopped once.
“But he’s only 5’2 so hopefully I can stick to the game plan, hit and move and get the job done.
“I don’t need to be taking risks with another fight lined up for December.”
McDonnell’s bout will be on the undercard of the huge all-British world title war between Carl Froch and George Groves.
And the 27-year-old is delighted to be involved.
He said: “This is exactly the sort of show I want to be on and what I should have been on after winning the world title.”