He may have suffered the bitter disappointment of defeat in his second chance at a world title but you would not know that when speaking to Gavin McDonnell.
Just a couple of days out since his tenth round stoppage defeat against Daniel Roman in Chicago, McDonnell is in surprisingly upbeat mood.
He speaks of the odd pang of disappointment that he is not walking around with the status of WBA super bantamweight king which he was convinced he would claim.
But he insists he content with his situation simply because he gave everything he had both during the build-up and once he stepped between the ropes to face the classy Roman.
“I couldn’t have done any more,” McDonnell told the Free Press.
“Everyone says they’ve had the perfect camp but that 12 weeks that I had was perfect every single day and the weight I’ve never done so good in my full career.
“I had everything bang on, down to a tee and everything ran so smoothly until I got beat.
“I was coming on strong in the fight. We thought I’d won the last three rounds before it was stopped, I would have won the last three and I thought I nicked one of the earlier rounds.
“So in my mind I would have gone on and won the fight. I take a lot of credit out of it.
“I trained the best I could have and gave it everything I’d got and I just got beat by the better man.
“So I’ve put it all to bed now. I couldn’t have done any more.”
As he did in his first challenge for a world title last year against Rey Vargas, McDonnell came away from the defeat with credit.
Showing excellent resolve and a great engine, he came on strong in the second half of the fight to put the ultimate result in doubt until he was caught with a big right hand from Roman which sparked the end of the bout.
The odd moments of disappointment come through but the Dunscroft fighter says he feels as though he has come to terms with the defeat.
“I’m a very tiny bit disappointed because I expected to be world champ,” he said.
“Since we’ve got back I’ve been bombing about, doing my bits and I’ve thought I should be doing this as world champ.
“That’s the only thing I’m gutted about but that feeling only lasts a couple of seconds and then I come good because there was nothing else I could have done.
“I’m happy. I’ve got a healthy family, two gorgeous little boys.
“I’ve had opportunities which a lot of other fighters never have.
“I’m giving it my all and doing my best.”
Some were quick to write off McDonnell’s career after the defeat, expecting that he will not get another opportunity at a world title.
But he is determined to bounce back and continue to prove that he belongs at world level.
In fact, trainer Dave Coldwell is having to hold him back already after a long, hard year.
“I’m itching to get going – 2019 is going to be my year,” McDonnell said.
“Thinking about 2018, it’s been a brilliant year. Two great wins, a newborn baby and a world title fight in America. It doesn’t get much better than that.
“But next year, if it’s anything like this year, it’ll be brilliant.
“Hopefully Eddie Hearn [promoter] can pull something out of the bag.
“Tony Bellew said to me ‘look, you’re world class now. You’re not going back to no rubbish fights now.’
“I wouldn’t have minded getting out before Christmas but Dave says I’ve had three tough fights on the bounce, no real time off and I just need to enjoy it.
“The morning after the fight I got up and wanted to go into the gym but I thought Dave would disown me if he found out I’d been training the day after a fight.
“I've already been out on the bike round the village in the sun. Nothing crazy. Just having a little think, thinking I’m happy with life but also excited about what’s to come.
“In a couple of weeks I’ll start knocking about the gym again and just try to keep myself ticking over.
“I can go back to work and take some plastering jobs on, earn some money to keep going.
“Hopefully I’ll have some news on the next fight in the next couple of weeks.
“When you’re at a certain level, surely they should be able to line something up.
“My stock has risen after this latest fight if anything.
“Hopefully I’ll be out early next year, though I’d really fancy something before Christmas.
“The motivation is massive. I want to get back out quickly and in big fights.”