June 14 Jonny Stapleton
Brian Magee jets off to the tropical climes of Panama this morning in a bid to turn the heat up on his WBA interim world title preparations.
The Belfast veteran challenges Jamie Barboza for the vacant strap in Costa Rica on July 30 and has travelled to South America to acclimatise.
The former European and British champion will cash in his coach Bernardo Checa’s Panamanian contacts and will endure sweat, sparring and sacrifice instead of indulging in sun, sea and sand over the next two weeks.
“I have done the hard work here in Agnus Gym and preparations have gone well up to this point. I have two hard weeks over in South America ahead of me as try and get acclimatised. Bernardo has great connections over in Panama and has set up a gym we can use. He has also used those connections to get sparring partners for me. I am expecting a tough time especially over the first week,” Magee told Mirror Sport.
It certainly won’t be a holiday camp for Magee, as he puts in the kind of work that could prove vital in aiding him buckle a belt, that will re-open the path to mega bouts, around his waist.
Considering he faired so well against the highly rated Lucian Bute in an IBF world title fight in March and has a proven track record on the road- Magee knocked out Mads Larsen in Denmark to become EBU champ last year-the Belfast puncher is favoured going into the fight.
Add to that Barboza has campaigned most of his career at light middleweight and most would predict an easy Magee win.
However, the former Holy Trinity amateur, claims is not underestimating his Costa Rician foe and stressed he is not only trading leather with Barboza on July 30 he is also fighting the heat, humidity and adverse conditions.
“People might say he is underdog, but as Bernardo said to me throughout this camp expect the unexpected. It is not just the guy I am fighting you have to think about it is the conditions as well. They are conditions I have never experienced before. I am expecting it to be a lot tougher in the heat. Like Carl Froch said the humidity caused a lot of problems for him in his last fight against Glen Johnson in Atlantic City. So they are the things I have to over come too. I have travelled before and won abroad, but not to these conditions. The fight is indoors so fingers crossed they keep the air conditioning on.”
This months world title fight will the 36 year olds second within a year and he reserved special mention for his manager Pat Magee for helping secure big fights over the last 10 years.
Indeed he labels the manager that showed him the big money pay days, Gerry McGuire.
“Pat has always got me great fights. The thing about Pat he loves the sport. I call him my Gerry McGuire. We have that kind of relationship. He isn’t in it for finacail gain. Along with Bernardo and John Rooney I have a great team behind me and I am in the best condition of my life and looking forward to coming back to Belfast with the title.”
June 14 Jonny Stapleton