Lee McGregor says he will be on the bill for next Josh Taylor fight

Lee McGregor says stablemate Josh Taylor’s epic Las Vegas triumph was one of the best nights of his career – even though he wasn’t wearing the gloves himself.

By Neil McGlade
Thursday, 27th May 2021, 4:55 am
Lee McGregor defeated Karim Guerfi in March to be crowned European bantamweight champion. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Lee McGregor defeated Karim Guerfi in March to be crowned European bantamweight champion. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The European bantamweight champion spent the last month out in the States and was at the Virgin Hotels resort on Saturday night as the Tartan Tornado overcame combatant Jose Ramirez.

Undisputed supremo Taylor, who became the first British boxer to win all four belts in any weight-class, touched down back on Scottish soil on Tuesday evening and McGregor insists the Vegas tip was an experience he will cherish for the rest of his days.

“It was unbelievable – absolutely amazing,” said the 24-year-old. “I feel like it was one of the best nights of my career and I wasn’t even fighting myself! It was a special, special night. I’ve been blessed to have been out here – world-class sparring, training at world-class gyms alongside world-class fighters. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. Hopefully it can hold me in good stead for the future.

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“Without doubt when Josh next fights out here I’ll be alongside him on the card. Definitely. It would have been the same this time, it was just unfortunate with the situation but I’m sure that’ll be sorted next time and I can be out here representing Scotland. I’ll keep training away and it’s looking like I’ll be back in the ring in July. I just need to make sure I’m ready for that.”

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McGregor insists his emotions over the course of the weekend were through the roof but it was nice to able to unwind and enjoy the moment once the gloves came off.

“It’s different when it’s you in there,” he explained. “You’re in control and you know what you’re going to be doing. When you’re watching you’re helpless. There’s nothing you can do. I think that’s why I get more nervous. I was gutted in the build-up because I was meant to be on that card. I’m quite glad now I wasn’t because my emotions were all over the place the whole day. It was an amazing day and night.

Lee McGregor enjoys a glass of bubbly alongside Josh Taylor as they return to Scotland on a private jet. Picture: MTK Global Boxing

“It was a much, much more well-prepared Josh than ever before. He needed that. If he’d gone into that fight the way he fought against [Regis] Prograis and guys like that it would have been a very tough night.

“We knew there would be moments where he’d have to stand and fight but he was much smarter in his approach to the whole build-up to the fight and that was down to the team getting the game-plan spot on. He smashed it. I threw every shot with Josh. I was sweating buckets, I’ve got blisters on my feet.

“The judges’ scorecards (114-112) are irrelevant now thankfully as he won the fight, but they did try their best to not make him victorious but he took it out of their hands.

“The celebrations after were amazing. It was a night I’ll never forget. We partied until the early hours of the morning and only had a couple of hours’ sleep so we were all feeling it the next day. We did the hotel, the casino, the bar in the hotel. All the boys were together and we just had a great night celebrating.”