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Lee McGregor: Karim Guerfi has more experience, but I’m hungrier and fresher

McGregor goes for the European bantamweight title on Friday.

Lee McGregor v Kash Farooq - British Bantamweight Title Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Bantamweight prospect Lee McGregor will look to take a big step toward true contender status this Friday when he faces European champion Karim Guerfi in a fight that will stream live on ESPN+ (March 19, 3 pm ET).

It’s a fight that has been postponed so many times that going over every time it was would stretch this out to kind of ridiculous levels, but now it’s on, set, and — knock on wood — finally happening.

The 24-year-old McGregor (9-0, 7 KO) is a strong prospect at 118 lbs, and Guerfi (29-4, 9 KO) is a very good fighter at the European level, even just beyond being European champion — the 34-year-old Frenchman is the sort who can weed out pretenders or fighters taking too big a step.

But McGregor has full confidence that he’ll come out with another belt on Friday.

“There will be doubters, but I believe in myself and my team believes in me and that’s all that matters. I’m very confident I can pull this off,” he said. “Guerfi may be a lot more experienced than me, but I’m younger, fresher and hungrier than him.”

McGregor points out that he’s had a fast-tracked sort of pro career, winning the Commonwealth bantamweight title in his fifth pro bout in 2018, and adding the British title in Nov. 2019 against Kash Farooq — a fight that, to be fair, some felt he’d lost, but also may have been more that Farooq is better than people thought then and not that McGregor isn’t as good as hyped.

“I could now be British, Commonwealth and European champion after just 10 fights of my career, and that is something which I would be very proud of,” McGregor said, and he gave credit to trainer Ben Davison for upping his game.

“I feel like I’ve really gelled with Ben Davison since we started working together. He’s been fixing me and helping to make me the finished article, so I’m excited to see how far we can go.”

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