New British 56kg boxing champion Lee McGregor has revealed he will continue to shun the advances of professional promoters vying for his signature.
The Meadowbank fighter’s stock continues to rise in wake of his latest triumph last weekend, a unanimous victory over Welshman Joshua John securing him his first British Seniors’ title at Dunfermline’s Alhambra Theatre.
And, although admitting his latest accolade in Fife represents the pinnacle of his career so far, McGregor is adamant he still has some unfinished business to tend to before he can even contemplate a move up to the paid ranks. It has been a whirlwind few months for the 19-year-old, who delivered his first Scottish Seniors’ title at the end of March with victory over Lochend’s Ryan McCutcheon before jetting home with gold from Serbia at the Belgrade Winners’ Tournament just a couple of weeks later.
The 19-year-old will now hope to cap off his season tomorrow night when he tops the bill on his own club’s show at Tynecastle Stadium before heading to Turkey for a well-deserved holiday with girlfriend Amber.
“I’m in the driving seat for the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018 and I know that for a fact. I just need to keep my feet on the ground and keep doing what I’ve been doing. I just want to keep representing my country and keep travelling the world,” McGregor said.
“I’ve already had people asking what my plans are but everyone knows that I’m not interested in going professional at the moment. I’ve got the right people around me and they know what’s best for me. I definitely want to be at the Commonwealth Games and, to be honest, I’d be happy to wait another two years after that and have a crack at the Olympics in Tokyo. There’s absolute no rush whatsoever as I’m still really young.
“I feel you’re looked after more in the amateurs. A lot of the pros are messed about because they’ve not really got a name for themselves. If you look at Josh [Taylor] now, he’s the one guy I look up to who has got a really good team behind him in Cyclone and made the jump at the right time. He fought all over the world as an amateur and achieved everything he could and look at the direction his career is going in.
“I’m not going to be fooled by anything,” he continued. “But, on the flip side, I could get a phone call from Eddie Hearn [Matchroom boxing promoter] next week offering me a £10,000 signing on fee and a guaranteed two fights every two months. I suppose, if you had terms offered to you like that then you never know, but realistically the Games in Australia in two years is my aim.
“I think the standard of the amateurs is better than the pros just now to be honest. I know that every fight I go into it is possible for me to lose and I don’t think you get that in some of the pro shows. I need to be on my game every single fight.”
McGregor, who is also on the GB Podium potential team based in Sheffield, recognises he is fast becoming a household name in the sport and other boxers will now view any victory over him as a huge scalp. However, he insists he can maintain the level of performance he’s shown these past few years and, if anything, will only continue to improve.
“The win last weekend is by far my best achievement in boxing. I’m now a two-time British champion having won the competition as a youth in 2014,” he said. “I was made team captain too so I got to wave the flag entering the ring and lead the guys out and what a feeling that was. I had a pretty rough time of it last year after injuring my shoulder but I’ve certainly made up for it.
“To have won the Scottish Championships in March and then taking home gold from the Belgrade Winners’ Tournament, I’ve done everything that has been asked from me. It’s just all happened so quick so it’s difficult to take in.”