Bantamweight phenom Lee McGregor has captured British and Commonwealth titles. He is now ready to conquer Europe. McGregor, from Edinburgh, Scotland, will challenge European bantamweight champion Karim Guerfi in a 12-round showdown this Friday, March 19 from University of Bolton Stadium in Bolton, England.
Guerfi-McGregor will headline a card streaming live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ starting at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.
Guerfi (29-4, 9 KOs), from Manosque, France, is a three-time European bantamweight champion who challenged for an interim flyweight world title in 2012. He has not fought since November 2019, when he knocked out countryman Georges Ory in nine rounds. Guerfi has won his last three European bantamweight title bouts, all by knockout. McGregor (9-0, 7 KOs) captured the Commonwealth bantamweight crown in October 2018 in just his fifth pro bout, knocking out Thomas Essomba in the 12th round. He unified the British and Commonwealth crowns in November 2019 with a razor-thin split decision over Ukashir Farooq. McGregor returned from a career-long layoff last August and stopped Ryan Walker in five rounds.
The streaking Maxi Hughes (22-5-2, 4 KOs) will battle Belfast veteran Paul Hyland Jr. (20-2, 7 KOs) in a 12-rounder for the vacant British lightweight title. Hughes has scored upset victories in his last two bouts with decisions over the previously unbeaten Viktor Kotochigov and former world title challenger Jono Carroll. Hyland is coming off a June 2019 knockout loss to Francesca Patera for the European lightweight title.
Belfast-born super middleweight contender Padraig “The Hammer” McCrory (11-0, 5 KOs) will fight fellow unbeaten Germaine Brown (9-0, 3 KOs) in an eight-rounder. McCroy is coming off last September’s first-round blitzing of the normally durable Mickey Ellison.
In an eight-round junior welterweight bout, Jamie Robinson (10-4-1, 3 KOs), winner of four straight, will look to make it five in a row against Billy Allington (8-1-2).
Undefeated junior middleweight prospect Eryk Apresyan (7-0, 5 KOs) makes his UK debut against Nathan Bendon (3-3-1, 1 KO) in a six-rounder.
The ESPN+ stream is scheduled to start with the return of junior featherweight prospect Shabaz Masoud (7-0, 1 KO) against nine-year veteran Louis Norman (14-8-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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