LIVERPOOL bantamweight Peter McGrail insists that he is full of confidence, as he enters the AIBA World championships, which begin today in Hamburg, Germany, fresh off his stunning victory at this year’s European Championships.
The 21-year-old southpaw became the first English winner since Luke Campbell in 2008 and only the fourth in history, after he outpointed Mykola Butsenko in the Ukrainian’s homeland back in June and he believes that win is only the beginning for him in the unpaid code.
McGrail, who trains at the Everton Red Triangle gym, is now looking to push on and add World gold to his growing resumé and establish himself as the number one bantamweight in amateur boxing.
He said, “Winning the gold at the Europeans was simply brilliant, it’s hard to put it into words how much it meant to me. I made my whole family, my city proud and now I want to go and do it all again at the World championships in Germany.
“I didn’t get much time to celebrate, as I was straight back up to Sheffield to train, but it’s such a good feeling. I thought it may get taken away from me in the final when they took a point off of me and then with it being in the Ukraine too, I knew I was up against it.
“The amateurs is known for some bad decisions, but when they raised my arm, I can’t describe that feeling, as it made it 10 times better because in a way, after the point was deducted, there was a little bit of me that had already accepted that I might not get the decision.
“I’ve got that accolade now, but I always want more and I want to win every tournament that I go in for and the Worlds is next for me. The Europeans is great preparation for it and I’ve already become champion of one part of the world, so now I want to become champion of the whole world.”
McGrail admitted he wasn’t quite ready for the media attention he received when he got home from the Ukraine, especially in Liverpool, but took it in his stride, as he added another chapter to the history of the famous boxing city.
He isn’t resting on his laurels though, as he wants his first gold at major senior international to be the kickstart for his career, as he continues on the path to the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
McGrail adds that the experience he picked up in the World Series of Boxing as part of the British Lionhearts squad has only improved him as a fighter and helped all the British fighters as a whole due to the level of competition that they are facing on a weekly basis.
“The buzz around me when I got home was unbelievable and I wasn’t quite ready for all of it. But I enjoyed every second of it, doing all the interviews and being in all the papers, as well as going up the Radio City Tower which I’d never done before.
“Being the first to do it from the city makes me incredibly proud and I want to make more history in Liverpool by winning world gold. Tokyo is obviously the ultimate goal, but I want to win the Commonwealths and keep performing in the WSB, where the competition and taking on world class fighters regularly only drives me on.
“The WSB has done so much good for British fighters in the amateurs, as it gets you ready for the pro’s in a way. When they used to go to tournaments there was always that initial shock, but now we are in that, the surprise element has gone.
“It’s five rounds with day before weigh-ins, shown on BoxNation, which is only good for our exposure, so you look at the guys who went to Rio and have turned over, they were more prepared than ever for that transition. The WSB has done me a world of good and prepared me for the top level, as I showed in Ukraine and I’m ready to pick up another gold in Hamburg.”