His fight this weekend may only be designed to keep him active but Gavin McDonnell insists he has prepared like a world title is up for grabs.
McDonnell will be back in the ring at the Manchester Arena to face Jay Carney in a ticking-over bout as he waits for another route back to a world title.
In the past the 31-year-old has admitted struggling for motivation for low stakes contests but says he is had no such issues this time around.
“I’ve been absolutely flying in training,” he told the Free Press. “I’ve beaten every previous best – even the ones for the world title fight.
“I’m flying and I’m really looking forward to getting in there. I want to go in and put on a performance.
“Hopefully this kid is coming to fight, and I think he will do. When you’ve got someone who just wants to cover up, it can be difficult and you can end up getting caught as you go chasing it.
“If he’s coming to fight, there should be a few gaps I can exploit and really put on a decent performance.”
Carney has won five of his eight fights. Last time out he was beaten by Woodlands’ Jason Cunningham.
McDonnell is determined to force his way back into world title contention, having been beaten by Rey Vargas for the WBC super bantamweight title in February.
He revealed he should have been in a big fight this weekend but is hoping it can be arranged by early 2018 at the latest.
“It should have been a massive one on Saturday night but it didn’t come off,” McDonnell said.
“They’ve been talking about December but I’m not sure that one will happen now so hopefully it’ll be early next year.
“I just want to keep busy and keep pushing back for a world title.
“I don’t want fobbing off. I just want to know if and when a fight is going to happen.
“I’ll be speaking to [promoter] Eddie Hearn after the fight on Saturday night to find the latest.
“Time isn’t really on my side. I’m not an old 31 in fight terms but I’m still up there in age so I don’t want to be hanging about.”
Saturday’s clash with Carney will be fought at super featherweight.