Gavin McDonnell is preparing to face ‘Mike Tyson’ this weekend.
Iron Mike has not come out of retirement to forge a new chapter of his career at super bantamweight.
But McDonnell has envisioned facing someone of the toughness of Tyson in his preparations to fight the robust Vusi Malinga in Hull on Saturday night.
“It’s going to be a hard fight, a tough 12 round fight,” McDonnell told the Star. “I’m preparing myself for the best of the best. If anything I’m over-preparing.
“I’ve told myself he’s Mike Tyson. I’m expecting a tough, strong man.
“I hope I get in there and it feels easier than it is.
“There’s nothing worse than getting in there and getting a shock that it’s worse than what you thought.”
Dunscroft fighter McDonnell will contest the vacant WBA International title with Malinga – who has been stopped just once in a 27 fight career that has seen him challenge for three world titles.
The bout at Hull’s Ice Arena will see McDonnell make a significant step up in class just eight months after winning the British title.
But he feels he is worthy of making the jump.
He said: “This kid has been in with the best of the best in the division.
“I believe I can be right up there and I’m going to prove it.
“It’s all about the big tests and that’s all I’ve wanted in my career.
“Not many people have a fight like this in their 14th fight but I’m going to show why I’m ready for it.”