THE RESULT:  Peter McGrail put the disaster of December in Arizona against Ja’Rico O’Quinn behind him by beating former British super-bantamweight champion Marc Leach with a largely dominant performance to earn a unanimous decision win. Judges Michael Alexander and Steve Gray delivered the same 99-91 verdict on their cards but Howard Foster saw it as a shut-out for the home fighter 100-90.


KEY MOMENTS: McGrail came out the traps quickly in the opening round looking to overwhelm Leach. The Liverpudlian has some world-class shots in his locker and produced them in patches but his over-eagerness would sometimes get the better of him. But in the second half of the fight the 27-year-old found a pace to suit his style producing more accuracy in his punches. A cut to the right eye of McGrail in the final round was really the only blemish on a night where he was in control from rounds one to 10.


RECORDS: McGrail gets himself back in the win column and moves up to 9-1 (5). A third successive defeat for Leach puts his record at 18-4-1 (4).


TALKING POINT: Having suffered such an unexpected and damaging defeat last time out against Ja’Rico O’Quinn the questions centred around how McGrail would bounce back. Hurrying his work led to openings for Leach in the early rounds but McGrail’s variety of attacks broke Leach down and slowed the Salford man putting him in harm’s way as the fight wore on. McGrail proved that he is over his first defeat but will that cut hinder what needs to be an active year for him.


QUOTABLE: “It was proper important to win,” McGrail said in his post-fight interview. “Headlining in my own city there’s a bit of pressure on myself on the back of a loss but we’ve passed the test in flying colours. He [Leach] give me 10 good rounds there. We’re back on track.”

Regarding a rematch with O’Quinn, McGrail said: “He doesn’t want to be in the ring with me. Get him over here or [I’ll] go to America and fight him.”


WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Winning tonight’s British title eliminator takes him a step nearer to fighting for the Lonsdale belt currently held by Dennis McCann. The champion may be looking beyond that level now, however, which may allow McGrail to fight for a vacant title. But will McGrail look to get revenge on O’Quinn who was originally slated to be in the ring tonight. Leach, a former champion himself, is now at a stage in his own career where opportunities will still present themselves but at what level. The 30-year-old wasn’t expected to win tonight but he will soon need a solid victory to move him back into contention for domestic honours.