Peter McGrail Certain That KO Shock Is In The Past, Fully Focused On Leach

Boxing Scene

Peter McGrail is perhaps one of British boxing’s brightest prospects.

McGrail’s immaculate footwork and southpaw skills have drawn mild comparisons with Ukrainian greats Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, but even the greats can fall. 

In his last contest McGrail found that out the hard way.

McGrail, who was fighting in the U.S. for the first time as a professional, was boxing beautifully and after dropping his opponent twice, was well on course for a dream American debut, but Ja’Rico O’Quinn ripped up the script, putting him down and out with an excellent hook.  

“It’s just boxing,” McGrail said. “We watch it every day in the gym, fighters get knocked out or dropped when we’re watching fights with Paul [Stevenson]. Obviously, we don’t think it’s going to happen to us, but when it does happen you’ve just got to go with it.”

McGrail was set for a chance of avenging his stoppage loss against O’Quinn this Saturday (April 27), but the American withdrew from the rematch due to family issues. Former British super bantamweight champion Marc Leach got the late-notice call to jump in, and although McGrail was hoping for O’Quinn, he is now fully focused on his fellow southpaw. 

“I just wanted that rematch straight away.,” added McGrail. “As soon as the rematch got made, I just put that in the back of my mind. I knew I had a job to do and was looking to smash him up properly – hopefully I get the chance to do that. As soon as the opponent got changed, I just switched my mind onto Marc Leach, that [defeat] is in the past now and I’m looking to win in style on Saturday and push on from there. 

“It’s probably more of an awkward opponent than Ja’Rico [O’Quinn], but every fight is hard if you know what I mean. We train hard for any fight, the only thing we needed to switch up was getting some southpaw sparring in, so it’s more like Marc Leach and not orthodox. Preparation has gone well; I’ve had brilliant sparring with Bernard Torres and Aaron Bradley. I’m feeling good, weight’s good, everything is good.”

A win on Saturday night over former British champion Leach will not just elevate McGrail to within touching distance of a shot at the Lonsdale Belt, but also up the rankings with the WBA. The Liverpudlian now has options for his next fight, but insists he has a job to do first.

“I’ll sit down with my team and see what’s what, there’s two or even three routes to go from after this fight. The Ja’Rico O’Quinn fight or defend the WBA belt or go down the British title route. That’s obviously after I get the win on Saturday, but we will have to get the job done first.”

McGrail is yet another product of the Everton Red Triangle gym in Liverpool. Paul Stevenson and Co have produced a number of hard-hitting fighters such as Nick Ball and Andrew Cain over the years, but McGrail revealed there’s no secret to their success, just hard work and dedication. 

“It’s the work that Paul and Anthony put in with us, we’re all looking to learn and get as good as we can. We’re good listeners, we’re good learners, we try things out in sparring and whatever you do in the gym and sparring comes out in the ring. It’s good times in the ring amateur and pro. Big Boma Brown on Friday, then me and Joe [McGrail] Saturday, exciting times for the gym.”

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