Jame DeGale has selected hard taskmaster Jim McDonnell to be the man in his corner when he makes his professional debut.
McDonnell, who took Danny Williams and Takaloo to world title fights, was revealed as the Harlesden middleweight's trainer at a press conference on Monday.
Notorious for his near-sadistic focus on fitness, McDonnell's technical abilities as a trainer are often overlooked.
A former European champion at featherweight, and a two-time world title challenger, he became an obvious choice for DeGale once the Olympic gold medallist decided he wanted to stay in London.
In the end, it came down to a choice between McDonnell and Jimmy Tibbs, with the former making the final cut.
McDonnell demonstrated his straight talking at the press conference, when he said DeGale's fitness was four out of 10 when he came back into the gym before Christmas, although he did point out he had had four months off. But McDonnell is confident that once DeGale is in shape, he will be unstoppable.
"James has a want and a will you won't see in many individuals," said
McDonnell. "This is going to be a great journey and I believe it could turn into something very, very special.
"I don't want to take anything away from his style at all, just tweak a few things here and there. He picks things up so quick. Some of the sessions I do are quite in depth, but he gets them straight away." ..