22 February 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Brian Magee is travelling to Canada to collect the IBF world title on March 19 and not just a substantial pay day, according to manager Pat Magee.
The European Champion turned down the opportunity to challenge, Dimitri Sartison, the fighter deemed weakest of the world champions in favour of a title tilt with, Lucian Bute, the best super middleweight outside the super six. But Magee has denied suggestions the Irish veteran is preferring wealth to boxing glory by taking on Le Tombuer in Montreal on the same night Willie Casey challenges for a world title in Dublin.
The Belfast based manager revealed fighting Sartison in Germany was riskier than taking on Bute, yet offered none of the rewards that victory over the Canadian based Romanian would bring. Magee, who claimed Brian Magee is looking sharp and confident in training, stressed the 35 year old was fearful of going Germany, a place renowned for hometown decisions. The experienced manager also pointed out that fighting undefeated and hotly tipped Bute(27-0) gives the former British Champion the massive American exposure he craves.
If Brian didn’t fancy himself against Bute we wouldnt have taken the fight, Magee told Mirror Sport. Brian is improving since he won the British title and he is on an upward curve. People dont know just how good Brian Magee is. it is less than a month to the fight now and he is looking good. Any fighter worth his salt wouldnt turn down the chance to test himself against the best in front of 16,500 fans and live on a Showtime extravaganza. Brian is 35 and every fight he has now has to be a big one, but he is not going there to lose.
We were mandatory for WBA champ Sartison, but we couldnt get him to come to Belfast. For obvious reason’s Brian was not keen on going to Germany. When the Bute fight came up Brians trainer had a look at it. We thought we had a chance so we took it. It was go to Germany with a promoter with no TV and a record of fights falling through or go to Canada fight the biggest name out there in a bout broadcast across America and the world. If we beat Sartison we would have been in the same spot we are now beat Bute and Brian can write his own cheques. What a alot of people don’t know is that we had agreed to fight Sartison as chief support bout to Hopkins v Pascal, but when Showtime decided against making that pay per view they felt they couldn’t afford two world title fights.”
Bute is clear favourite going in to the title fight with the former Olympian, but Pat Magee points to Brian Magees odd defying previous and is hoping the Belfast fighter is underestimated.
I hope Bute and his people underestimate Brian. If they do they will be in for a shock. When Brian went to Denmark to fight Mads Larsen for the European title he was a 7/2 outsider now he is 6/1 to beat Bute. He has proved the bookies and doubters wrong before.”