Michael McKinson has never shied away from a challenge.

It’s the lack of a challenge from his past several fights that has irked the unbeaten Brit.

That won’t be an issue this weekend, as Portsmouth’s McKinson (22-0, 2KOs) hits the road as a sizable underdog versus rising welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18KOs). The bout headlines a DAZN show from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, near Ortiz’s hometown of Grand Prairie, Texas.

“I get excited about being in that danger zone,” McKinson told BoxingScene.com and other reporters during a recent media conference call. “I haven’t been able to do it for a long time. I haven’t been able to do it as I’ve been going up. I’m excited to be able to do that on Saturday night.”

McKinson hoped to have done it when he was scheduled to fight Ortiz earlier this year. The fight fell through after Ortiz fell ill just prior to fight week, though McKinson was eager to still proceed with his scheduled stateside debut. The British southpaw agreed to every opponent that was offered, eventually landing on Chicago’s Alex Martin who he outpointed over ten dull rounds in a bout put together on short notice.

“I’m a clever, tactical fighter. My last three, Alex Martin is a negative southpaw and a very clash of styles,” admitted McKinson. “Before that was the Polish guy [Przemyslaw Runowski] who after one round was in a shell for ten rounds. Before that was in Gibraltar, who was Chris Kongo. I was on the front foot making things happen in the fight.

“I have not had to dig deep. I’ve not had to go somewhere that I’ve never been before and I know I’m going to have to in this fight. So I’m looking forward to it.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox