SUPER-BANTAMWEIGHT Peter McGrail picked up an important victory in the 10th fight of his professional career last night (April 27) in Liverpool against Marc Leach.

McGrail, who won multiple medals as an amateur, was snapped up by Matchroom Boxing in February 2023 and tipped to progress quickly with many backing him to become a future world champion.

The “Scouse Lomachenko” saw those hopes temporarily put on the backburner after facing Detroit’s Ja’Rico O’Quinn last December in America on the Jesse Rodriguez-Sunny Edwards undercard. What should have been a showcase for McGrail turned into a nightmare when he was knocked out in the fifth round.

McGrail’s future was now under the spotlight at Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre in a fight described as “must-win”. It was a harsh reality to deal with but the 27-year-old got the job done and was never in any danger of losing.

So, where does McGrail go from here? Boxing News offers five potential opponents for his next fight.


Ja’Rico O’Quinn 17-1-1 (9)

The American is contractually obliged to fight McGrail once again and with a revenge mission on the Brit’s mind this fight makes the most sense. Should McGrail wait to get his own back on the 29-year-old or forget about a rematch and move on? O’Quinn was supposed to be in Liverpool last night and fight the Scouser but pulled out at the beginning of April due to personal family matters. Will he be next for McGrail?


Dennis McCann 15-0-1 (8)

The British super-bantamweight champion was on the lips of McGrail’s promoter Eddie Hearn after he watched his fighter get back to winning ways in a British title eliminator. McCann is a far more seasoned pro who has his own ambitions of going to the top. Is it realistic? In this current world of Riyadh Season and Hearn and Frank Warren working together then maybe it is. It would be a defining test for both men.


TJ Doheny 25-4 (19)

Doheny has vast experience and is well-travelled with fights in Australia, Thailand, America, and Japan on his record. The sales pitch of Hearn would begin with the fact Doheny is a former IBF super-bantamweight world champion. Not only that he has shared the ring with Ryosuke Iwasa, Daniel Roman, Michael Conlan and Sam Goodman. A win for McGrail against Doheny, now 37, would significantly boost his résumé.


Ionut Baluta 16-4-1 (3)

Baluta must surely be the toughest man in Romania who weighs 122lbs. Having began his career in Spain Baluta made the UK his next fighting home and has fought here in seven out of his last eight fights. McCann, Doheny, Brad Foster and Andrew Cain all know the problems he possesses. Only Michael Conlan and Liam Davies have managed to deal with him. McGrail would have his hands full but if he were to handle Baluta without a hitch then it would be a bit of a statement.


 Erik Robles 15-2 (9)

The hard-working and relentless Mexican got the better of Lee McGregor in Edinburgh last summer in a thrilling contest. That win earned Robles the IBO strap at 122lbs but just last month it was ripped out of his hands by the big-punching and world-rated Liam Davies. McGrail would likely figure Robles out quickly but could he keep him away for 10 or 12 rounds?