This weekend’s Belgrade Winners Tournament represents just the beginning of a busy couple of months for Scottish 56kg boxing champion Lee McGregor.
Having successfully defended his national title with victory over Jack Turner earlier this month, the Meadowbank amateur jetted off to the Serbian capital on Wednesday where the 20-year-old will be hopeful of adding to the gold medal he won this time last year over in Eastern Europe.
McGregor, who is closing in on a spot for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, also has his British title to defend in Cardiff next month before attending GB training camps in Uzbekistan, China and Kazakhstan. There’s also the small matter of the European Championships in Ukraine in June and the World Championships in Hamburg in August to contend with.
“It’s going to be a busy few months that’s for sure!” McGregor said ahead of his quarter-final clash with Brazil’s Carlos Rocha. “Going to all these places is the best preparation you can have to give you the best possible chance of being successful. I’ve been on a good few trips with Scotland now but the vast majority have been based around Europe. I’ve not really been further afield so I’m looking forward to going to some new places. It’s all new experiences. I’m doing what I love and travelling the world so I can’t complain.
“Boxing Scotland are just brilliant. We’re out in Serbia just now and when we come back all the number two-ranked fighters are off to Poland for a tournament. They’re giving everyone a chance. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunities they provide us with. The GB team are fantastic as well.”
McGregor is confident of advancing through the rounds in Belgrade and hopes to be standing aloft the podium on Sunday night.
“I know there are a few top countries going but I genuinely don’t know who is going to be there,” he said. “That’s what I like about these tournaments, it’s open class and all the national champions will be there.
“I won gold last year so I’m looking to do the same. I don’t feel any extra pressure. With the European Championships coming up in June, I’m wanting to make a statement this weekend. I should hopefully get a rough idea of who I might face.”