12 September 2010 – Steve Wellings
You would have forgiven Brian Magee if he had reservations about travelling to Dublin for a title fight.
After all, the last time the 35-year-old Lisburn man made the trip to the capital he fought to a contentious draw against Portsmouths Tony Oakey for the British crown. That fight – at the old Point Depot (now the O2 Arena) – was up at light-heavyweight but down at his natural super-middleweight divisino, the classy southpaw is a different animal. Armenian challenger Roman Aramian found this out on Saturday, September 11 when Magee successfully defended his European title with an eight-round domination of his stubborn foe.
Brian raced out of the blocks in round one with businesslike southpaw jabs and his trademark right hooks to the body, a combination which worked perfectly for the duration of the fight. Aramian had a reputation as a rugged customer having gone the distance with some credible opposition during his career, but as the rounds flew by it looked increasingly unlikely he would last the course in this contest.
Magees peppering punches always culminated in a solid final blow and Aramian was getting rocked on the ropes as early as the fourth-round, struggling to cope with the quality coming his way. The lead left was landing so frequently by the eighth session that Italian referee Luigi Muratore was starting to hover and it was amazing that the challenger sported no facial bruising. In the break between the eight and ninth rounds, the third man signalled to Aramians corner that he would be halting the onslaught if their man did not start producing significantly better work.
His warning was academic, as no sooner had Muratore walked away Magees cornerman Bernardo Checa was leaping into the ring with joy as Aramian slouched off his stool holding his right arm. Apparently he had injured it, John Rooney informed the press afterwards, but his head and torso would undoubtedly be sorer in the morning.
Since stopping Stevie McGuire for the British crown last year, Brian enjoyed a superb away win in Denmark in January and is going from strength to strength. His headlining act, televised live on RTE2, was punch-perfect and topped off a typically strong Brian Peters card.
The judges were unused although all three had Magee in an unassailable lead: Roger Tilleman (80-72), Leszek Jankowiak (80-70) and Daniel Van de Wiele (80-70). The National Stadium victory means that the man managed by Pat Magee (no relation) is now in prime contention for a crack at WBA champion Dmitri Sartison.
I would love the WBA shot to be in Belfast, or Dublin because you saw the reception I got tonight, stated Magee post-fight, unable to hide his delight. To be honest I havent watched too much of Sartison but no world champion is poor, they dont give those belts away.
Roman Aramian was even tougher than I expected tonight and he always felt he had a chance to catch me, which kept me on edge and I had to stay alert and take nothing for granted. I had to pace it because he was throwing a few swingers out there and I didnt want to punch myself out.
Brian also paid testament to the work of his corner team, particularly trainer Bernardo Checa who can clearly produce pieces of magic both inside and outside of the ring.
Bernardos skills are going hand in hand with Alec Dohertys conditioning work and after all the training its paid off. The guy lived up to his reputation as a tough guy and I hit him with bombs, clean shots to the head and it seemed like the only thing I was hurting was my own hands. Bernardo assured me that if I kept the pressure on he would crumble and he called it right.
Some people said he would be easy but I was expecting a tough nights work from him and I had to dig in, use a bit of steel and steady myself, using my experience and listening to Bernardos tactics in between rounds.
The strong possibility of having to travel to Germany to fight Sartison does not worry the 35-year-old and he even has a few suggestions to help smooth negotiations.
I dont worry about travelling to Germany have gloves and bag will travel, is my motto. Ill have to put a few extra zeroes on to the Euros for that though!
Overall Im very pleased with a great team performance, concluded Magee.