Gavin McDonnell to meet Rey Vargas for vacant WBC super bantamweight title on February 25

03/01/2017 14:36

British super bantamweight Gavin McDonnell (16-0-2, 4 KOs) will fight Mexico's Rey Vargas (28-0, 22 KOs) for the vacant WBC title on February 25 at the Ice Arena in Hull.

The two unbeaten fighters will challenge for the vacant 122-pound belt after previous champion Japan's Hozumi Hasegawa announced his retirement last month. The WBC ordered mandatory challenger Vargas to face the next ranked contender, which is former British and European champion McDonnell.

A McDonnell victory would make British boxing history. He is the twin brother of WBA bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell and they would become the first British twins to hold world titles at the same time.

"I've seen my brother become a world champion and I'm ready to become world champion," said McDonnell.

"Vargas’ record says that he’s big puncher but we won’t know how good he is until we get in there. He will have to knock me out cold to win it as he can’t beat me."

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is a huge opportunity for Gavin McDonnell to win the first world title of 2017 and also create some special history for British boxing. Vargas is an excellent fighter but I believe we can create an electric atmosphere in the Hull Arena that can raise his levels to win this."

Also on the card, hometown hero Luke Campbell (15-1, 12 KOs), a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, will defend his WBC Silver lightweight title against Jairo Lopez (21-6, 14 KOs), a stablemate of Vargas.

If Campbell wins, he will likely get a world title shot in the summer.