And on Saturday night, the Dunscroft fighter can take a major step closer to winning a WBC world title as he faces Jorge Sanchez in an eliminator in Manchester.
Brother Jamie is the reigning WBA bantamweight champion and has held the IBF title in the past.
And McDonnell admits getting to the WBC title before his brother is a big incentive. “It’s something he hasn’t got and there’s a bit more motivation there,” he said with a smirk.
“It’s something I can bring to the table which he can’t.
“He’s proud of me and he wants me to do it but it’s nice to get a bit of banter in. It’s what I need and it might keep him on his toes a bit.”
McDonnell’s clash with unbeaten Panama fighter Sanchez is also for the WBC Silver super bantamweight title.