Lee McGregor ready to take on the world after career had taken a nosedive

They say some things in life are worth waiting for.
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Well, that's been Lee McGregor's mantra for a boxer who admits his career hasn't continued in the same vein since his British title triumph over the now-retired Kash Farooq in 2019.

And although the undefeated Capital star did add European honours to his CV two years later, he's only fought five times since his success over compatriot Farooq in Glasgow almost four years ago.

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However, following months on end of hard graft in the gym for little or no reward, McGregor will finally get his world title shot at Meadowbank on Friday, July 21.

Lee McGregor will headline Meadowbank later this month in a world title showdown with Mexican Erik Robles AyalaLee McGregor will headline Meadowbank later this month in a world title showdown with Mexican Erik Robles Ayala
Lee McGregor will headline Meadowbank later this month in a world title showdown with Mexican Erik Robles Ayala

The 26-year-old faces dangerous Mexican Erik Robles Ayala for the vacant IBO super bantamweight belt with the bout also broadcast live on Channel 5.

It's an opportunity the former Meadowbank Boxing Club amateur has craved, McGregor having recently signed a long-term contract with promoter Wasserman Boxing.

"We're not far away now," McGregor told the Evening News. "It's just about managing the training and being smart. Ideally, I would have liked a bit more activity recently but it is what it is, I'm never going to turn down an opportunity which can change my life. I'm going to take it, of course I am. I am a fighter.

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"I've been in the gym for a long time, been sparring Leigh Wood who is just coming off the back of his world title camp so I'm in a good place. The only thing that has been missing is being under the bright lights.

"I did get out in March which was ideal, but I was nowhere near 100 per cent. I am now in a much better place and I've still got three weeks to go. This is a new chapter for me. I'm still only 26 but I've experienced a lot from an early age. I think people think I'm older than what I am because I've achieved so much in my career at such a young age.

"I'm excited about the plan in place for the next year to 18 months. It's life-changing. I can't slip up and need to deliver.

"This is exactly why I started boxing in the first place to be doing what I am about to do in three weeks' time: headlining a bill, on Channel 5, in my hometown, having Mairis Briedis on my undercard, a former cruiserweight world champion, it just feels surreal to be honest. This is what I have dreamed of since I was a kid."

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McGregor, who is based with trainer Ben Davison in Essex, isn't one to dwell on the past, even though times have been tough.

"My career had stalled," he explained. "I'd been trying to train through it all with so many cancelled dates and it was so hard to deal with. I've been away from my daughter for so long with nothing in the pipeline and spending weeks on end away from your family isn't easy. I'm a human being after all, not a machine. But I knew the opportunity would come. We had offers elsewhere but Wasserman are wanting to build me back up in Scotland which is what I feel I deserve. I started off my career live on Channel 5 so it's gone full circle.

"I really feel I've got a really exciting and active 12 to 18 months which will see me in some mega fights. But I need to get the win first on July 21. I'm not going to get any fitter now, I've been down in Essex training since January. I'm heading off to Fuerteventura next week just to wind things down so that will be good to get some warm weather on my back."