2005: Brian Magee was cruelly edged out on a split decision in his re-fixed vacant European title fight with Ukrainian Vitaliy Tsypko. The Belfast supper middle was denied on the scorecards (114-115, 115-113, 115-114) at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung in Germany. Originally due to take place in May before the Eastern European fighter withdrew with a back injury, the result in the end was a controversial one, with Magee seemingly getting the better of the twelve rounds.
Afterwards Magee said that “I do not know what more I could have done. I am very disappointed not to return home as champion.”
“I dominated the fight. I raised my hands at the end and was confident I had won the fight while their camp did not look too confident they had won it.”
2005: On the same night in America, another Belfast man also lost, with Wayne McCullough being defeated in his final World title fight. The Pocket Rocket took on Oscar Larios in a rematch of their February WBC super bantamweight title fight which was given to the Mexican by a questionably large margin. The rematch on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins-Jermaine Taylor was more one-sided and brought to a halt by the ringside doctor Margaret Goodman at the end of the tenth round due to the famously tough Ulsterman taking too much punishment. The warrior McCullough, wanting to see the final bell of an unwinnable fight, was heartbroken by the decision which was supported by his trainer Freddie Roach