Edinburgh’s Lee McGregor successfully defended his Commonwealth title – and then immediately set his sights on bringing home the British crown too.
The 22-year-old bantamweight turned in a faultless display to secure an eighth-round stoppage over Shotts’ Scott Allan at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Saturday night.
It was the MTK Global fighter’s seventh successive victory since turning professional in October 2017, six of those wins coming by way of a TKO.
McGregor, who is also the reigning IBF youth world champion, slowly picked away at his opponent before referee Victor Loughlin called a halt to proceedings with little more than 90 seconds remaining in the eighth.
Watching on in anticipation at ringside was reigning British champion and compatriot Kash Farooq, a potential match-up about which both boxers have been vocal for quite some time.
Glasgow’s Farooq, a year older than McGregor, is also undefeated and was receptive to the idea of any contest taking place later this year. The 23-year-old does have a third defence of his title to negotiate in August first, however.
“Kash is going to defend his belt in August and then let’s get it on,” McGregor said after defeating Allan. “It would be a massive fight for Scotland. We’ve got total respect for each other. We grew up in the amateurs together and travelled the world. We need to give the Scottish fans what they want.”
In truth, McGregor was a class above the outspoken Allan, the 26-year-old feeling the pain as early as the second round as McGregor found success with a powerful shot to the body. Although Allan, who sustained a nasty cut just above his right eye, had some big shots up his sleeve, the former Meadowbank amateur never wavered.
Allan felt the decision to stop the fight was premature and his reaction said it all.
“I knew all along the stoppage was going to happen,” McGregor said. “I said it in the build-up. I’d been waiting on this night for a long time and had put my body through hell for eight or nine weeks. I think my performance showed I’m getting better all the time. I’m becoming a really great fighter under my coach Grant (Smith).
“I felt like I could beat him any way I wanted. I believe I’m better in every department. I beat him fighting, boxing, tactics… everything.
“He got under my skin at the press conference and I let it get to me. But the victory is a sweet feeling. The game plan was to box for the first few rounds but I caught him clean really early on. But I still tried to stick to what I was told. The plan was always to take him out.”
Lewis Benson was another home victor as he edged out Frenchman Renald Garrido over eight rounds.
The capital welterweight was given a tough test but emerged with his 12th win as a professional. “It was a good, hard fight but I expected it,” the 27-year-old said.
“He had a good game plan but I just landed the better shots. It was my first fight under a new camp so it was all about just getting the rounds in.
“I was never going to stop an opponent like Garrido so it was just about punching and keep moving. I got cut in round six but I stuck to my boxing and ground out the victory.
“I want to start pushing for titles. We have a lot to work on as this fight threw us off a little. But it’s my first fight with my new coach Joe Ham Snr so we’ll get ready for whatever comes our way next.”
Meanwhile, West Lothian’s Kieran Smith defended his WBC international Silver super welterweight title against Mexico’s Ivan Montero.