June 11 Jonny Stapleton
EVEN the most knowledgeable fighting aficionado might struggle to tell you who Jamie Barboza is, but that hasn’t stopped Brian Magee from affording the Costa Rican a super middleweight number 1 ranking, according to coach Bernardo Checa.
Veteran Magee goes into a July 30 Costa Rican hosted WBA interim title fight with Barboza as clear favourite, especially considering his opponent has campaigned for most of his 21 fight career at middle and even light middleweight.
However, whilst predicting a Magee knock out win the Belfast fighter’s trainer claims they are not underestimating the top ten ranked WBA contender.
In fact they are bringing the same attitude to preparation for this world title tilt as they did their IBF world title bid in March.
Magee is training with the view that he is once again challenging the man deemed the best super middleweight in the world, Lucian Bute.
“We are not over confident. Brian is training for this fight like he was fighting the best in the world. He is preparing like he was in against Lucian Bute again. I always say even a dwarf can be dangerous because they can hit you were it hurts. So no matter who you are facing you have to be prepared and have to be fully focused come fight time,” Checa told www.irish-boxing.com.
However despite preparing in same manner in which they did for Bute, who ended a brave Magee performance in round ten of their March 19 world title fight, the Panamanian is predicting a reversal of the Canadian result in Costa Rica next month.
The former super bantamweight stand out envisages a late stoppage and is confident his charge will eventually break down what is a tough opponent.
Checa also has a lot to offer in terms of this fight than just knowledge imparted in the gym. His Panamanian contacts will prove vital in terms of acclimatising to the South American heat and getting tough sparring partners for the Magee, who jets off to Panama this week.
“Barboza will be like the guy Brian fought in Dublin when he defended the European title. He will be tough and strong. He will be hard to break down, but I think Brian will achieve the same result and stop him late on. He is looking very well training. We are looking forward to the fight now. We fly over early to get used to the heat and the six hours difference. We are going early to avoid problems. We also got in tough Panamanian sparring partners.”