Edinburgh boxer Lee McGregor discloses there were ''issues' in lead up to world title showdown
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The Capital boxer suffered the first loss of his professional career at Meadowbank on Friday night, all three judges awarding the contest in favour of the North American.
British and European champion McGregor wasn't at his razor-sharp best over 12 rounds, however, the contest, broadcast live on Channel 5, was just his sixth outing in almost three years.
And the 26-year-old admits there were a few mitigating factors that led to a desperately disappointing night in front of his home fans.
"There were a few issues going into that fight that a lot of people don't know about and I was nowhere near 100 per cent," McGregor explained. "You need to be 100 per cent going into a fight like that. But it was a fantastic fight, one I loved being involved in and I'm glad the fans enjoyed it.
"I know for a fact, that once I get these issues fixed, then I can beat that guy. The rematch is something I want, without a shadow of a doubt. If you take away that tick-over fight back in March, I had 13 months of inactivity, so momentum wasn't on my side, and nobody would have blamed me if I had turned it down.
"But I proved once again on Friday night, the warrior that I am. I need to sit down with the team, but I want to put it right.
"How good that fight was, is making me really hungry for the rematch and it's going to be huge and bigger than it was on Friday. This was my first big show in Edinburgh and look at what I did. The result didn't go my way but please believe me when I say that I will put it right and I will get that belt."
McGregor's promoter Nisse Sauerland said the show ticked all the boxes aside from the result.
"I am still buzzing but I’m broken hearted for Lee," he said. "What he has to see is it’s not the end for him. He’s 26 and it’s how you react to defeat. He’ll feel terrible for the next couple of days then he’ll go back to the gym, he’ll watch the fight back and learn from his mistakes. They were minimal mistakes too because it was a very close fight.
"I couldn’t argue with the result after watching it back, although I had it a draw going into the last round at the time. It’s a lot different live to watching it with no commentary and no crowd and scoring it yourself. So, despite the result it was such a good time. The crowd made it brilliant too.
"I’d like to do the rematch here. I’d give him a month off. It’s not healthy going straight back in. But that’s where the difference is between a champion and a normal fighter. He needs to look at what he did wrong, be critical of himself and work out why. He went 12 rounds full hog but make a little adjustment and he wins that fight. It was close.
"It hasn’t paid off but people will know his name. They’ll have tuned into Channel 5, maybe a million or so and they’ll now know Lee McGregor. People guard the zero in boxing but if you lose that kind of a fight who cares? Come back and do it again. The story isn’t over."