Lee McGregor survives knockdown to halt Vincent Legrand in four
Fast rising bantamweight Lee McGregor successfully retained his European title for the first time with a fourth-round stoppage over previously unbeaten Vincent Legrand at Falls Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Legrand boxed well in the opening round and kept the habitually aggressive 24-year-old defending titleholder at distance, catching him coming in several times.
The 30-year-old French southpaw, who previously held the European flyweight title, continued to give McGregor trouble in the second, stunning the Scottish fighter with a hard right jab and following up with another right that sent McGregor to the canvas with 20 seconds remaining in the round. McGregor rose and appeared to be OK.
Having previously fought at range, McGregor, who was having some trouble with his rival’s lefty stance, changed things up and looked to impose himself in the third. He had more success when he got inside and used his strength and power to his advantage.
Having figured things out in the previous session, McGregor pushed his opponent to the ropes and landed a right hook to the ribs that dropped Legrand to one knee. Clearly hurt, Legrand (32-1, 17 knockouts) spat out his gumshield and was counted out by referee Victor Loughlin at 1:23 of Round 4.
Although defensively irresponsible at times, McGregor, who recently entered The Ring’s 118-pound ratings at No. 10, displayed his talent and the future looks bright.
“I’m a bit disappointed in my performance,” admitted McGregor (11-0, 9 knockouts). “What I did in round three and four, I should have done from the start. I was a bit too keen and wanting to impress, getting carried away and got caught with a shot. It was more frustrating than anything. As you saw when I got up, I was fine.
“Right now I’m disappointed, but in a couple of months I’ll be saying that’s the best thing to happen to me. It’s another step on the road and another part of my journey to becoming a world champion.”
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright
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