Liverpudlian set for Matchroom debut on Smith vs. Stepien card
Liverpool amateur sensation turned 6-0 Super-Bantamweight prospect Peter McGrail has signed a long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and will make his debut under the promotional banner on the stacked Callum Smith vs. Pawel Stepien show at the M&S Bank Arena on Saturday March 11, shown live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand).
One of Merseyside's most decorated amateur boxers, McGrail first broke through with bronze medals at the Youth Olympics and World Youth Championships back in 2014. The gifted southpaw then won gold at the European Championships in Kharkiv in 2017 before winning Commonwealth gold a year later in Australia.
The 26-year-old, who trains out of the renowned Everton Red Triangle Gym on Albion Street under Paul Stevenson, was hotly-tipped for a Featherweight medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but succumbed to a premature defeat against Thai fighter Chatchai-decha Butdee in the opening round.
McGrail made his highly anticipated professional debut on Matchroom’s sold-out Liam Smith vs. Anthony Fowler show at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool back in October 2021, comfortably outpointing Ed Harrison over six rounds to kick off life in the paid ranks with a win.
He returned to the arena two months later for his second fight on the undercard of the sold-out Conor Benn vs. Chris Algieri and Katie Taylor vs. Firuza Sharipova double-header, earning his first stoppage win without a vest by halting Nicaragua’s Engel Gomez in just two rounds.
McGrail racked up four wins from four fights in 2022 – all inside the distance – to further establish himself as one of the exciting talents in the 122lbs division. He started the year by taking out Alexandru Ionita in Dubai before returning to Liverpool to score stoppages over Uriel Lopez Juarez and Alexander Espinoza. In his last outing McGrail stopped Hironori Miyake on the Naoya Inoue vs. Paul Butler undercard in Japan.
"I'm absolutely over the moon to have signed with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing," said McGrail. "I'm looking forward to being a part of more huge nights with Matchroom in my hometown and up and down the country and around the world. I always stay ready and I'm ready to go again on March 11 and put on another good performance. I couldn't have asked for a better professional debut walking out in front of a sold-out arena on the Smith vs. Fowler undercard and I've banked some brilliant experience since boxing out in Dubai and Japan and headlining my own bill in Liverpool. I'm ready to crack on towards some titles.
"I'll fight anyone. I've always been like that since I was a kid. I've been in there with some top amateurs over the years and I wouldn't shy away from anyone. I wouldn't mind picking up some international titles to start climbing the world rankings, but if a domestic title popped up then I wouldn't shy away from anybody. It's coming very soon and it's really exciting times for me. I've found my way now in the pros and it's time to push on with the rounds and push on with the opponents and step up a few levels. Whichever way it works I'll be ready. There's going to be some great nights coming to Liverpool."
"I'm delighted to welcome another Team GB Olympian to the Matchroom Boxing team," said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. "Peter McGrail made his professional debut on one of our shows and I class him as one of the best prospects in world boxing. We're developing an incredible stable of young talent. Peter is ready for ten-rounders now and will return to the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on March 11. Expect big things and big titles for Peter in 2023. I believe this young man will bring World Championship boxing to Liverpool for many years to come."
You can follow McGrail’s journey on Instagram: peter_mcgrail and Twitter: @peter_mcgrail
Tickets for Smith vs. Stepien are priced £40, £60, £100, £150 and £300 (VIP).
Tickets can be purchased via Stage Front and the M&S Bank Arena NOW.