‘The Pilgrim’ spoke to Ben Jones about his dream night in Riyadh, mixing with combat sports royalty and switching focus ahead of his British title fight.

Liverpool’s Jack McGann hailed his time in Saudi Arabia as one of the best experiences of his career after delivering a brutal one-punch knockout against Robert Duran Jr on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou.

The 30-year-old finished the bout with a stunning left hook in the second round, and will now face Samuel Antwi for the British super-welterweight title after being announced as the mandatory challenger by the British Boxing Board of Control.

McGann, who moved his unbeaten record to 9-0-1 with the victory, said: “The whole thing was like something out of a dream. As big as you can imagine the event was, you couldn’t properly feel it unless you were there.

“The fact that Chuck Liddell walked me out and he was one of my childhood heroes was another piece to the story.

“It was one of the best weeks of my life. With the team as well, for a lot of different reasons, it was a truly special time.”

Ahead of the fight McGann had stated the need to produce an impressive performance. Reflecting on his words, he pointed to his hard work and preparation in the gym as key factors in his win.

“I’m not surprised I performed the way I did because I put everything into the camp,” he said.

“What happens in the gym happens in the fight, and in the gym I was on fire.

“It was strange, you do all that work and then it’s all over so fast, but the reason I got that was because of the graft I put in. The feeling after was unreal. It just added to the whole experience.”

The British title fight against London-based Antwi, who won the belt in his last outing with a 12th round stoppage of Mason Cartwright, is expected to take place in March next year.

The purse bid for the bout is set to be held on November 8, when more information will be released about the date of the fight and which promotion will have the rights to stage the event.

“I’m fully aware it will be the toughest test of my career,” McGann said. “Antwi’s a great champion and he’s got the belt for a reason.

“He proved he’s a champion with his last performance, but with the work I’ve put in you’ll get the best version of me as well.”

Although McGann has previously spoken about his ambitions to win a world title in boxing before potentially switching back to MMA, he refused to get drawn into any speculation about future fights.

“There’s no point looking down the road because you might crash on the way,” he said.

“I just take it all step by step. Winning the British title is such a big thing I can’t look past that.”

This story originally featured in the Liverpool Echo

Featured image: Credit Jim Diamond