Every cloud has a silver lining, doesn’t it? Until a couple of months ago, boxer Lee McGregor remained largely unconvinced.
Outside the ring his world was falling apart right before his very eyes. The death of his mother, Elizabeth, last year was the first of three tragedies in a short space of time, his grandmother and cousin both passing away only a couple of weeks later. Devastation struck again at the turn of the year when the 21-year-old lost his grandfather. How much more devastation could one family take?
His boxing, though, has given him a form of escapism that he has grasped with both hands. He is now relishing his next bout that will pitch him against Tanzania’s Goodluck Mrema for the vacant IBF Youth World bantamweight title at the SSE Hydro on Saturday, 23 June.
“It’s a big step up, that’s for sure,” said McGregor, who is 3-0 as a pro. “The guy’s had 24 fights with 22 wins and 12 knockouts. I’ve never been beyond the second round in my professional career but it shows the belief my team have in me with this being a ten rounder. We know what I can do and people are going to see the best of me. I’m really looking forward to it.
“Let’s be honest, you’re going to see me get hit in this fight. When I have to dig deep that’s when I really come out on top. I’ve been in camp seven weeks now so by the time the fight comes around I’ll have had 12 weeks behind me. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip.
“I’m only 21, so I’ve got a lot ahead of me. This is a massive fight for me and it’s not Mickey Mouse. What a belt this would be to win. I’m then looking to have the British title by the end of the year.”
McGregor, who is chief support to Cyclone stablemate Josh Taylor’s WBC super lightweight world title eliminator against Viktor Postol, revealed he and girlfriend Amber are expecting a baby in November.
“Things are finally looking up so I’ve now got a focus,” he said. “I want to provide for my girlfriend and our son or daughter. It’s down to me now to bring all the happiness I can to my family. I really can’t wait to be a dad and hopefully I’ll have a couple of belts to show the baby at the end of the year.”