Gavin McDonnell is one step away from completing the ultimate fairytale rise after landing a shot at the WBC super bantamweight title.
The Dunscroft fighter will face Mexican Rey Vargas for the vacant title next year, with a date and venue yet to be confirmed.
The Star understands McDonnell’s camp are confident of securing a British staging for the fight, which will come less than seven years after he made the surprise decision to pursue professional boxing.
McDonnell had watched twin brother Jamie become European bantamweight champion in France when he decided to take up the sport, despite only having had five amateur fights as a junior and weighing almost three stones more than his fighting weight.
He was forced to take part in a test bout by the British Boxing Board of Control in 2010 in order to prove himself worthy of a professional license.
But since his professional debut in December of that year he has never looked back, claiming Central Area, British, European and WBC Silver titles along the way to reaching second in the WBC’s rankings.
The unbeaten 30-year-old faces a tough test in his bid to join twin Jamie as a world champion.
Opponent Vargas has won all 28 of his fights, stopping 22 early. He is a former WBC Youth Silver and WBC International Silver champion at super bantamweight.
The 26-year-old has only fought outside his native Mexico twice with both bouts taking place in California.
The clash has been made following the retirement of former champion Hozumi Hasegawa, with whom McDonnell’s camp were pursuing a world title fight.
The decision was made at the WBC’s annual convention earlier this week with the final details set to be thrashed out in the coming days.
Previous holders of the title include Marco Antonio Barrera and Carl Frampton.