For the fourth time, MTK Global have scheduled Karim Guerfi vs Lee McGregor for Guerfi’s European bantamweight title, with the bout now set for Friday, Mar. 19. ESPN+ will stream the event.
Guerfi-McGregor was first set for Nov. 11 of last year, but McGregor tested positive for COVID. The fight was moved to Jan. 22, but that was scrapped when the BBBofC shut down boxing in the United Kingdom for the entire month. Feb. 6 in Dubai was then scheduled, but that was canceled because of travel restrictions.
So now it’s Mar. 19 at University of Bolton Stadium, home to Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Guerfi (29-4, 9 KO) is a three-time European bantamweight champ, and the 33-year-old French fighter is very good at this level. But the 24-year-old McGregor (9-0, 7 KO), a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, has higher hopes than just this level, and will want to impress to make clear he’s on his way to getting where he wants to go. McGregor has won — and holds — the British and Commonwealth titles at 118 pounds.
The show will also feature Liam Walsh (23-1, 15 KO) taking on Paul Hyland Jr (20-2, 7 KO) for the vacant British lightweight title. Walsh, 34, is a former British champ at junior lightweight, and is best known outside of the UK for his 2017 challenge to Gervonta “Tank” Davis for the IBF title at 130, which didn’t turn out well for Walsh. He’s fought since twice since that night, and was last seen in Nov. 2019, beating Maxi Hughes by decision.
The 30-year-old Hyland has been sorely outclassed in past steps up in competition. He challenged Lewis Ritson for the British lightweight title in 2018, losing via first round stoppage, and was stopped in six in June 2019 when he challenged Francesco Patera for the European lightweight title. That was his last fight.