Home comforts could be key admits Gavin McDonnell in WBC title clash
Gavin McDonnell admits home advantage could prove key for his WBC world title fight tonight.
McDonnell will contest the vacant WBC super bantamweight title with Mexico's Rey Vargas at Hull's Ice Arena.
The bout will be only the third that the unbeaten Vargas has fought outside his home country, with the other two coming just over the border in California.
And McDonnell believes taking Vargas out of his comfort zone to a cold and wet Humberside could give him the edge he needs to claim world title glory.
"Him coming here might be key," he said.
"Home advantage, home comforts, home support - it might lift me, it might be the difference.
"It's a good little place for atmosphere and I've had two good wins there.
"It might go in my favour and it's nice to know I've got that.
"I'll have good support. I know the arena, I've done the ring walk. I know the set up.
"Vargas is coming here, he doesn't know anyone, it's freezing cold.
"He probably thought he was going to be in something like the O2.
"Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have done everything possible to give me the best possible chance for my dream.
"It's up to me to do it."
Vargas had little time to acclimatise to life on the east coast after only arriving in the country earlier this week.
He weighed in yesterday eight ounces lighter than McDonnell, with both well inside the super bantamweight limit.
Vargas is widely tipped to be a considerable player in the division for years to come and is the favourite for tonight's fight.
McDonnell though insists he has improved greatly since his last couple of bouts and has warned the Mexican against underestimating him,
"He can improve as well but I know I've definitely improved," he said.
"Hopefully he's going off the old videos when I wasn't half as good as I am now.
"I hit harder, I've more ring knowledge. I feel like I genuinely belong at this level.
"I want to see myself if I'm good enough.
"I believe I am. I just want to know now.
"Believing it gives you confidence."