The Everton Red Triangle gym has quietly built a reputation as a conveyor belt of talent. The latest crop of fighters to emerge from the Liverpool gym are poised to make some real noise.
Exciting Nick Ball sits at number one in the WBC featherweight rankings, unbeaten super bantamweight Peter McGrail seems to be on the verge of breaking out and Andrew Cain, Brad Strand, Joe McGrail and heavyweight hope Boma Brown complete Paul Stevenson’s talented stable.
McGrail will be back on the ring on the undercard of the Jack Catterall - Jorge Linares junior welterweight bout. No stranger to success after a decorated amateur career, the Liverpudlian gets the opportunity to add a first professional title to his trophy cabinet on October 21st.
McGrail (7-0, 5 KO’s) will face 17-0 Colombian, Fran Mendoza, for the vacant WBA Continental title. The fight is a real step up in competition for the 27 year old and gives a clear indication of the path Matchroom are looking to move him down. The British super bantamweight scene may be flourishing but Stevenson has loftier goals in mind for the accomplished McGrail.
“We’re just playing it by ear and seeing what comes along. Really, Peter’s goal is - and should be - a world title,” Stevenson told BoxingScene.com. “The British title is a great belt to win but it’s not going to affect our decision making when it comes to his career trajectory. If it came along as part of a natural progression then fine but otherwise we won’t give it any special consideration. It’d be a nice trophy to pick up on the way to where we really want to be.
“Peter’s fighting for his first title in October. He’s boxing a good kid who’s 17-0. It’ll be a good one.”
While McGrail is looking to progress quickly through the world rankings, his E.R.T teammate, Andrew Cain, has spent the past two years at the sharp end of the British 122lb division.
Cain (10-1, 9 KO’s) shot to prominence with a string of quick, brutal knockouts but after badly damaging his hand during the opening round of his thrilling war with Romanian danger man Ionut Baluta in March, the 23 year old has been forced onto the sidelines whilst British, Commonwealth and European champion, Liam Davies, has cemented himself as the man to beat from these shores.
The menacing Cain is recovering well after undergoing surgery to repair the hand but when he does return to action, the heavy handed Liverpudlian may do so at bantamweight.
“Andrew’s fight with Baluta was close. I think he probably just about did enough but his hand went early on. He’s had a bit of surgery and now he’s just rehabilitating,” Stevenson said.
“We’re trying to get him a shot at that British bantamweight title. It’d be a great fight for him. He’s always been a bantamweight really but a fight with Liam Davies appeared at super bantam. We took it but Davies pulled out with three weeks to go. There was still a fight and belt if we wanted it so we took it and then we were at that weight.
“I want to move him back down. He’s a beast at any weight really. He weighed in at 8st 8lbs for his fight with Baluta so he was only 2lbs above the bantamweight limit then.
“Andrew knocks people out. When did you see a lighter weight fighter who does that?”