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Exclusive: New European Amateur Champ Peter McGrail reflects on triumph, looks forward to Worlds

Joe Hewlett 29/06/2017

AIBA

Peter McGrail tore up the record books to become only the second Brit since 1961 to win a European Gold medal for Team GB.

McGrail, from Liverpool, defeated home favourite Mykolo Butsenko to ensure he walked out of Kharkov with the top honours.

The 21-year-old admitted to pre-fight nerves after previous experiences in tournaments.

“During the day of the finals, I was nervous because in a tournament for the under-22’s I ended up fighting in Romanian against a lad from Romania in a final and I lost on a split decision. If it was anywhere else I might have got the decision,” McGrail exclusively told World Boxing News.

“It was the same sketch with the lad I took on in the final. I knew he was an experienced lad who had been around for years but I knew I was the better boxer.”

Despite his triumph, there was a moment in round two which left McGrail’s team with their hearts in mouths as the referee dubiously deducted a point from the bantamweight.

McGrail has had time to watch the footage back and reflected the confusion many felt.

“When I got a point taken off in the second round, I was just in the moment thinking how to keep my head up and trying to concentrate on the fight. I went back to the corner and said to my coach, ‘will that cost me the fight?’ He replied, ‘no way, you’re dominating, but we need this last round to be certain.’

“I got the last round and won the fight but when I watched it back as all my family and mates were saying there’s no way a point should have been took off. I watched it back and was waiting for the second round. I didn’t see what I had done, it did seem questionable.”

The southpaw styled fighter also saw-off number one seed from Belarus in Dzmitry Asanau along the way to marching in glory.

He is now targeting more unprecedented success in Germany and Australia.

“Next is the World Championships in Germany and then we have the Commonwealth games next year in Australia so I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and I will bring a few medals home. Things are starting to look really good for me, it’s exciting times.” he added.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95