25 January 2010 – By Cormac Campbell
Brian Magee has told irish-boxing.com that he cannot wait to blast off ahead of his clash with Mads Larsen.
Many insiders are tipping Magee, 33-3-1 (22KO) to leave the NRGi Arena in Aarhus, Denmark as the new European super-middleweight champion. Facing him is veteran Dane Larsen, a man, who despite an impressive record of 51-2 (38KO), is believed by many to have seen better days.
After completing his training camp at Belfasts St Agnes Boxing Club, Magee flew to Denmark on Monday to make final preparations for the contest.
Ive put in a lot of hard work and Im looking forward to it, he said.
The hard work is all done and now I am just regrouping and getting my mind right ahead of the big night. Im counting down the hours to blast off.
The bout is Magees first under the tutelage of Bernardo Checa after a lengthy association with Harry Hawkins at Holy Trinity.
It has been a good camp with a good routine. One of my old coaches Alex Doherty has come down to work with me on conditioning. It has been a good mix of the old and the new.
Hawkins, for his part, tipped his former charge to emerge victorious at Saturday nights National Boxing Awards.
I think Brian is a good bet to win, he said.
Larsen has been fairly inactive. I know Brian has as well but I think he will do it.
Magee, however is refusing to be drawn on his chances believing the contest to be very much of the pickem variety.
I hear mixed things maybe on stats I am favourite but I think it is very balanced, he conceded.
Hes been out for a year and Ive been out for a year. We both have experience. Im not taking anything for granted. At the end of the day all I can do is give it my all inside the ring and hope that those outside the ring see it in the same way. But that is something I dont have any say in so all I can do is my best.
But I am confident. The strength of Irish boxing at the moment is immense. Two European Champions (Matthew Macklin and Paul McCloskey) and until Bernard (Dunne) unfortunately got beat we had a World Champion. You do draw strength from it as it shows we can compete on the world stage.
In Magees last contest, in December 2008 he ripped Scotsman Stevie McGuire in two with powerful bodyshots claiming the British title in the process.
Body shots are just something I have in my repertoire and if an opening comes I can use them. In the McGuire fight I got the opportunity to use them and it worked. If an opportunity to do the same against Larsen comes up I will take it.
Although a number of supporters are making the trek to Denmark this weekend, news that the bout will be broadcast live on Setanta Ireland has been warmly welcomed by fans of the sport.
It is fantastic that it will be on TV, he said.
There are quite a few coming out to support me, but it is great for those that cant that it will be on Setanta.