Lee McGregor believes title has booked place on Gold Coast

Lee McGregor, with coaches, from left, Peaj Khosrowpour, John McCarron and former world super featherweight champion Alex Arthur
Lee McGregor, with coaches, from left, Peaj Khosrowpour, John McCarron and former world super featherweight champion Alex Arthur
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Having made a first successful defence of his Scottish 52kg title, Meadowbank’s Lee McGregor believes he can start preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Australia which get underway in 12 months time.

The Capital fighter proved too hot to handle for the Hayfield’s Jack Turner in Saturday night’s final at Ravenscraig Sports Complex, McGregor winning comfortably by a unanimous decision.

The 20-year-old is one of the country’s most talked about boxers having teamed up with the GB national squad in Sheffield two years ago.

And, while his stock continues to rise, McGregor believes his victory at the weekend has all but sealed his place with Scotland for next year’s Games in the Gold Coast.

“I would say so,” he said when asked if he feels he has done enough to earn a seat on the plane. “I think I’ve pretty much got my place. I’ve got the Belgrade Winners Tournament at the end of this month before the British finals in May so I can still pick up a lot of points there too.

“I am aiming for gold in both so I can’t see anyone getting picked ahead of me now. The team is announced in November so it’s not that long to go. But I’m already preparing to be in Australia. I know I have these tournaments coming up but, in the long term, the Gold Coast is all I am thinking about.

“I believe I can win gold out there, make no mistake about it. How I do will determine what I do when I come back if I stay as an amateur or switch to professional. I’ve already had professional promoters on the phone and I’m sure winning a Commonwealth medal can only stand me in good stead. But, then again, the Olympics in Tokyo will only be a couple of years after so who knows?

“I want to try and go down a similar route to what Josh Taylor has done. He’s the Commonwealth champion after just nine fights so that’s a direction I would like to take when the time is right.”

McGregor admitted to feeling some nerves prior to stepping into the ring and, although he feels he was far from his best against his final opponent, he is oozing with confidence.

“I really felt there was a bit of pressure on me – probably for the first time,” he said.

“I’m beginning to make a name for myself so it’s something you’ve got to deal with. I was the reigning champion too so that in itself adds to the expectation.

“To be honest, I’ve boxed a lot better than what I did on Saturday. I know myself and my coaches know that I can be ten times better than what I was but I still won so that can only be a good thing.

“My coaches John [McCarron] and Peaj [Khosrowpour] have been unbelievable in getting me to where I am and we’ve also got Alex Arthur on board so you can’t buy that experience.”

Lochend’s Gardner Moore is the new 69kg women’s champion having defeated Shannon Lawson but there were final defeats for Matty McHale (52kg), Nasreen Anderson (48kg), both of Lochend, and Leith Victoria’s Junior Burton (60kg) and Daniel Gollan (91+kg).