Major step up in class for Gavin McDonnell

Gavin McDonnell

Gavin McDonnell

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Gavin McDonnell will make a significant step up in class in his next fight when he meets three time world title challenger Vusi Malinga.

Dunscroft’s McDonnell will face the South African at Hull’s Ice Arena on October 25 with the vacant WBA International super bantamweight title on the line.

Malinga was the mandatory challenger for the IBF bantamweight title when it was held by McDonnell’s twin brother Jamie last year.

When Jamie was controversially stripped of the belt, Malinga when on to fight for the vacant title unsuccessfully against Stuart Hall.

He has also fought the highly rated Leo Santa Cruz and Hozumi Hasegawa for world honours.

McDonnell will feel his much-derided decision to vacate the British super bantamweight title rather than defend against mandatory challenger Jazza Dickens has been justified by the class of fight he has been placed into.

And promoter Eddie Hearn is pleased to have delivered for the 28-year-old.

“Gavin wanted a test of his credentials at world level and he’s certainly got that in Vusi Malinga,” Hearn said.

“It’s great credit to him and his team for taking this fight and if Gavin can land the win, it catapults him onto the big stage.”

McDonnell is number one in the European rankings behind current champion, Sheffield’s Kid Galahad.

His latest bout sees him continue his dramatic rise through the ranks after turning professional less than four years ago.