June 30 Jonny Stapleton
Brian Magee will have to battle and over come soaring temperatures and humidity as well as Jamie Barboza if he is to end Ireland’s luckless World title run in Costa Rica tonight.
Things have really heated up for the Belfast veteran over the last two years and they are about to reach boiling point in San Jose, as he fights for his second World title in less than 5 months in over 30 degree heat.
The 36 year old is clear favourite to succeed were Willie Casey, Paul McCloskey, Matthew Macklin and indeed he himself recently failed by winning his WBA super middleweight interim title fight and claiming world honours for Ireland.
However, despite being tipped to easily brush aside the former light middleweight the former British and European champion stressed he has to fight adverse weather conditions as well as a tough fighter tonight.
The Bernardo Checa trained veteran, who is enjoying a sensational career renaissance of late, has prepared for the worst in order to achieve the best result possible.
“I don’t look at myself as favourite. Bernardo always tells me to expect the unexpected and I am preparing for all scenarios. I am not just fighting Barboza I am battling the conditions. I have never experienced humidity and heat issues before. As Carl Froch said the humidity was the biggest problem in his last fight. I have to overcome that too. As far as I am concerned they don’t give world titles away. The are hard to come by and I will have to work hard to win. Fingers crossed the fight is fully indoors and the air conditioning is on,” Magee told Mirror Sport before belittling and sliming down the big weight issue.
“Barboza has been in against some good guys despite not having as an experienced record as me. He was in with Jean Pascal. People have been saying he is a blown up middleweight but he has fought at heavyweight too. I just have think he is going to be at his best and this is going to be a comfortable weight for him. I always believe you should prepare for the worst and think you opponent is going to do his best against you. ”
The former Holy Trinity amateur stand out, who is fresh from a two week Panamanian acclimatising mission, may have played up the conditions and the man vying to be Costa Rica’s first ever male World champ, but hinted he was confident of scoring a Barboza reverse in a fight that could pave the way to mega battles with the likes of George Groves or Carl Froch.
The Pat Magee managed star claims after his brave performance against Lucian Bute for the IBF belt in March he knows he belongs amongst the super middleweight elite
“I feel like I am in the best condition I have been for a while. If I win this I will be in great shape for a big fight be a defence or another world title fight. I definitely gained in confidence as a result of the Bute fight. I showed I deserved to be there and that I am not to far off the top level. He is the best in the division and he will prove that over next season. I am confident you can put me in with anyone in this division and I can beat him.”
June 30 Jonny Stapleton