“People have told me for years that boxing is a business and I’ve learned that now the hard way.”
After the last few months Jamie McDonnell knows more than most that boxing is much more than two fighters in a ring.
Stripped of the IBF world bantamweight title he won in May for failing to agree a mandatory defence, the Doncaster fighter is also embroiled in an on-going dispute with estranged manager Dennis Hobson that will stretch into next year.
The light at the end of the tunnel has arrived for the 27-year-old as he makes his return to the ring tonight, on the undercard of the huge clash between Carl Froch and George Groves.
And McDonnell is delighted to be getting back to the side of the business he signed up for.
“I’ve needed this to happen and I’m just massively relieved that I’m fighting,” he told the Star.
“It’s been a very difficult couple of months and it’s not really sorted yet but I’m glad to have a fight to focus on.
“All of this has just made me determined to win back my world title and even more determined to clean up at bantamweight.”
McDonnell will face France’s former WBO flyweight title contender Bernard Inom (22-3-1) in Manchester tonight.
He said: “He’s got a similar record to mine so it’ll be a decent test for me.
“He’s only 5’2 though so I should be able to stick and move and be okay.”
McDonnell has been in training for the last three months so feels physically ready for tonight’s contest.
But he admits he has had to work on getting mentally right.
He said: “It’s been hard to get the right mindset for this fight with everything that’s been going on.
“My focus is usually on the fight, not worrying about things outside the ring.
“But I’ll be ready on Saturday night.”