Several local fighters are set to be involved in Matchroom Boxing’s Diego Pacheco v Jack Cullen card.
The boxers completed their weigh-ins at the Hilton Hotel, and upon entering the vast conference room, there was a sense of anticipation from the locals ahead of Saturday night.
With the stage set up at the back of the room, a crowd quickly formed around the barricaded area as those attending tried to get a view of the fighters.
Liverpool has established itself as city with a strong association to combat sports, testament to this is the number of local fighters involved in the card, and the M&S arena as a well established boxing venue in the UK.
In total five Merseyside-based fighters feature on the card, which will no doubt bring extra exposure to the region’s already thriving combat sports scene.
James McCarthy, Paddy Lacey, Rhiannon Dixon, Peter McGrail and Robbie Davies Jr. were all present for their their “weigh-ins” and there was the obligatory piece of theatre “facing off” against their opponents.
Davies Jr. has the highest profile amongst them all. Since making his debut ten years ago at the Olympics, the 33-year-old has gone on to hold the British, Commonwealth and European light-welterweight championships, and is the current WBA Continental Champion.
Liverpool fighter Robbie Davies Jr prepares for a homecoming fight against Darragh Foley! pic.twitter.com/YvsJ8YkcYb
— MerseySportLive (@merseysportlive) March 10, 2023
The Kirkby based fighter is currently on a three-match winning streak, and is all set for a tough encounter against Darragh Foley, who has been victorious in his last four bouts.
Despite Davies’ status and acheivements, it was rising star Peter McGrail who got the loudest reception at the weigh-in.
The 26-year-old is relatively new to professional boxing but has already made an impact.
A Commonwealth Games gold medalist and former European champion as an amateur, McGrail turned pro in 2021 and remains unbeaten after six fights.
There were loud cheers and shouts of support as the self-confessed Evertonian made his way to the stage to weigh-in and face off against his opponent, Nicolas Nahuel Botelli.
After weighing in at 123lbs, the super-bantamweight stared down Botelli. The Commonwealth gold medalist exuded confidence and maintained calm body language while receiving more adulation from the crowd- he had the look of a man who has won six consecutive matches.
McGrail could be the city’s next big star, and it was clear from the weigh in alone, he already has a loyal following.
At 26, the southpaw is one of the most acclaimed amateur boxers Liverpool has ever produced, the challenge for him now is to replicate that success at a professional level.