Lee McGregor had a solid test in his 10th pro fight today, and to say he passed with flying colors would be an understatement.
McGregor added the European bantamweight title to his collection, thrashing French veteran Karim Guerfi for a first round stoppage on three knockdowns in what was a simply dominant physical performance from the 24-year-old Scotsman.
McGregor (10-0, 8 KO) was faster and just plain stronger than Guerfi (29-5, 9 KO), who is really a good fighter at the European level. This fight was mostly about finding out how good a prospect McGregor really is, and he’s now won British, Commonwealth, and European titles within his first 10 fights. That’s a legitimate accomplishment, a sprint out of the gates for his pro career.
“I think it’s impressive, and I’m not finished yet,” McGregor said. “I’m coming for that world title. I’m not scared to lose. Many people are. I go into the ring 100 percent confident I’m going to win, but I’m not scared to lose.”
McGregor credited better conditioning and called himself a proper professional fighter now, fully living the life of a pro and saying he felt better than he ever has, giving huge props to trainer Ben Davison, who is noted for getting fighters in top shape, as he’s done in the past with Tyson Fury and Billy Joe Saunders.
MTK’s Lee Eaton said McGregor could be on the Ramirez-Taylor undercard on May 22 in his next outing as the company look to get him a name beyond the United Kingdom and Europe. “He’s not ready for (Naoya) Inoue yet, but he’s coming,” Eaton said.
Asked about a possible rematch with Kash Farooq — who has been by far McGregor’s toughest pro opponent — the fighter took a diplomatic stance and left it up to promoters and teams and what have you.
“It was a great fight and people will want to see it again,” he said. “The Lee McGregor that Kash Farooq fought, he’s long gone. They had their best chance and he couldn’t beat me. There’s no way in hell Kash Farooq beats me now.”
Maxi Hughes TKO-8 Paul Hyland Jr
The hot streak continues for Hughes (23-5-2, 5 KO), as he wins his third straight solid matchup and claims the previously vacant British lightweight title, though not without some controversy with the finish.
The controversy is not much to do with Hughes, but with referee Mark Lyson. Here’s the clip, it’s easier to show than tell:
The closing stages as @BOXERMAXIHUGHES became British lightweight champion.— MTK Global Boxing (@MTKGlobal) March 19, 2021
Main event coming up NEXT on IFL TV.
FREE LIVE STREAM ➡️ https://t.co/MFen2fSxTo#MTKFightNight #MaxiHughes #HughesHylandJnr pic.twitter.com/b1xClJ36Mk
Hyland (20-3, 7 KO) clearly thought he’d been ruled down by Lyson, so he turned his back to head to the corner and take the count, then continue on. Instead, Lyson had ordered the action to resume, then even though Hyland clearly had his back turned, Lyson watched as Hughes raced across the ring, loaded up a right hand, and bashed Hyland from behind, basically.
Again, this isn’t really on Hughes, nor is it on Hyland. This was a failure in officiating. The Hyland corner were incensed, and should have been; not even so much because their man lost, the fight was going Hughes’ way for the most part, and we had him up 68-65 after seven rounds with the momentum in his favor. But because Lyson put Hyland in a very dangerous position where he wasn’t protecting himself because he thought he didn’t have to do so at that moment. He believed time there was a count on.
But Hughes really is having the run of his career at age 31, now with consecutive wins over Jono Carroll, Viktor Kotochigov, and Hyland. I’m not calling for him to get a world title fight right at the moment, but if he keeps winning, what the hell, who knows?
- Jamie Robinson D-8 Billy Allington (76-76)
- Nathan Rendon PTS-6 Eryk Apresyan (57-56)
- Sean Duffy KO-3 Paul Holt (1:03)
- Shabaz Masoud TKO-4 Louis Norman (1:12)