Lee McGregor: My motivation to beat Kash Farooq is powered by my family
Capital boxer wants to win British title for his daughter
Commonwealth bantamweight champion Lee McGregor is ready to throw the mother of all parties should he add the British title to his collection at the Emirates Arena tomorrow night.
The 22-year-old faces former Scotland amateur team-mate and reigning British champion, Glasgow’s Kash Farooq, in a winner takes all, east versus west contest billed as the biggest in Scotland for more than a decade.
However, undefeated McGregor, who is also the current IBF world youth champion, has extra motivation in making sure it is his and not his opponent’s hand raised after what is expected to be a punishing 12 rounds.
McGregor and partner Amber had to put daughter Maddison-Blue’s first birthday celebrations on hold yesterday as he prepares for the eighth – and biggest – of his professional career.
Nevertheless, McGregor insists he will be ready to make up for lost time in the coming days.
“It was her first birthday yesterday so it was very quiet. Everything I do now is for my little girl. It’s to make sure she has a good life and she’s a happy girl,” McGregor explained. “Tomorrow is no different. It’s for her and my family. I have a family to provide for now and that’s my motivation.
“It’s changed my outlook. I was a young boy two years ago making my pro debut and looking good. Everyone was talking about me. I was loving it and I was soaking up the attention and enjoying it.
“Now I’ve got a daughter, I’ve got a responsibility lying on my shoulders. In a way it’s an extra pressure, you could say that. But take each fight as it comes and I just put it all into my training.
“I firmly believe I’ll win this fight and move onto bigger and better things and life seems to be getting better and better. It’s my eighth fight and my fourth title fight.
“I feel good. All the hard work and training is done. The long gruelling 13 or 14 weeks training is all done. It’s fight time now so I’m ready to go.
“It’s been my hardest camp by a country mile. It’s been weeks of pain. I couldn’t explain, you’d just have to watch me in the gym and you’d understand. It’s been really tough but I’m ready physically and mentally. I’m in the best place I could be.”
Farooq can also boast an impressive CV with 13
successive wins in the sport. The 23-year-old has already made four successful defences of the British title he first won in September last year. But McGregor doesn’t believe that afford him any advantage whatsoever.
“I think my amateur background evens it up because Kash never went away to world or European championships and beat these guys,” he said. “I think that’s why so many people are intrigued for this fight because they genuinely don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s why the public are split 50/50.
“These are the kind of fights you want to be involved in as a fighter and I don’t understand fighters that don’t. Believe me there are boxers out there who would rather not do it.
“I’m fearless. I’m not scared to lose. That’s why I have had the success and recognition. I am willing to fight anybody and I mean that. Fighters say that and they don’t back it up. I fought for the Commonwealth title in my fifth fight so there’s not many that do that. I am now fighting for the British and Commonwealth titles in Scotland’s biggest fight in more than a decade in just my eighth fight.”