By Andrew Wake: Gavin McDonnell admits that if it wasn’t for the title winning exploits of his twin brother he would never have regained his love of boxing.
25-year-old McDonnell boxed as an amateur but gave the sport up in his late teens and it wasn’t until younger sibling Jamie (nine minutes his junior) was crowned British, Commonwealth and European champion last year that he thought he should give the sweet science another go.
“If our kid hadn’t have been doing so well I don’t think I’d have got back into it,” Gavin admitted. “I owe it all to him.”
After several years away from the gym, Gavin feels like he’s playing catch up. Thus far he’s won all three of his pro contests, but he believes if he’d not have taken a self-imposed hiatus he could have been at title standard by now.
“I think I could have been at a decent level if I’d have stuck at it,” he said. “Maybe not the level Jamie has got to, but I’d have definitely achieved good things.
“The way I see it is me and Jamie started off with the same ability and we have the same genes so when I look at what he’s won, I know I can win titles as well.
“Jamie wasn’t born with owt more than me, it’s just that he’s gritted it out and put the work in but I’ve stated pressing on now.
“I say to him ‘I’m the same as you. We’re both the same’. It’s just that he stuck at boxing when I didn’t so he’s got seven or eight years more experience than me.”
And a move into title class of his own is expected next year.