When your training partner is Josh Taylor, it takes some effort to stand out. Lee McGregor, though, is on the cusp of his own piece of history.
On Friday night, in Bolton, McGregor challenges Karim Guerfi for the European bantamweight title. If he wins, he will have won the British, Commonwealth and European titles in only ten fights as a professional.
“I struggle to think of any British fighter who has done that,” the Scotsman said. “For me to pull this off is something special and I am confident that I can do it.”
It is some feat. Damaen Kelly managed it in 12 fights, Kevin Satchell did it in 13, but McGregor will be setting the bar pretty high, especially considering he will have won the belts in three different fights, having beaten Scott Allan to claim the Commonwealth title in his seventh fight before adding the British title by beating Kash Farooq.
“This fight is life changing for me. If I come through this, the opportunities will open up,” McGregor said. “I need to make sure I get through this because massive things will follow.”
As well as being a fellow Edinburgh native, McGregor has followed Taylor in being trained by Ben Davison, having both been previously trained by Shane McGuigan. McGregor’s camp for this fight has coincided with Taylor’s preparations for his May fight with Jose Ramirez for the undisputed world super-lightweight title.
“If me and Josh Taylor win out next fights, we could have every belt in boxing between us, so that is pretty good for two lads from Edinburgh,” McGregor said. “Same gym as well. Fingers crossed we can do it.
“Josh Taylor is someone I look up do. I am with him side by side every day, training sessions, circuits pushing each other on constantly. He will be there on Friday night cheering me on and I will be doing the same for his fight. We are both there for each other.”
While McGregor has packed a lot into his career to date, experience is something he lacks compared to his French opponent, who is in his third reign as European champion.
“People are going to be shocked,” McGregor said. “I am going to put on a dominant performance and people will see an improved, better Lee McGregor – the best Lee McGregor they have ever seen.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.