21 December 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Brian Magee has been officially confirmed as the next challenger for Lucian Butes IBF super-middleweight world title and was instantly handed the best possible motivation for his first world title clash.
Irelands highest ranked boxer will fight the Canadian based Romanian in the Bell Arena Montral on March 19 but is being viewed only as a stop gap for the bigger Bute fights.
Bute has signed a three-fight contract with Showtime worth $2 million per bout and his team seem to believe a home victory is a forgone conclusion.
In fact so confident are team Bute of a spring win over Belfasts European Champion, who was close to fighting WBA champion Dimitri Sartison, that they worked hard to justify Magees challenge.
The best fighters are never available, said Don Majeski of team Bute, the disappointment in his voice evident. Magees a live fighter. He wasnt picked because there are 10 better. He wasnt picked because hes the easiest. Hes the best available who doesnt hold a belt, and thats not hyperbole. This is a justified fight and Brian Magees been waiting a long time.
Bute was a little more respectful toward the 35-year-old former British champion, who is no stranger to defying the odds on the road considering he shocked Europe with a stoppage of Mads Larsen in Denmark last year.
The slick and powerful Romanian has successfully negotiated all of his 27 pro opponents to date and defeated all three southpaws he has faced but believes Magee will provide a tough challenge.
Not all southpaws are the same. Ill have to study Magee and adjust, Bute said. Ill follow him and see his weaknesses, while neutralizing what he does well. Hes a good boxer and hes aggressive. This is going to be a very competitive fight. Hell give everything because this is a big chance for him.
March 2011 could prove to be historical month in Irish boxing as Andy Lee could join Willie Casey and Magee in making a world tilt.
Big Bang Casey will try to complete his quick fire rise to the top when he faces Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA super bantamweight interim belt on the same March 19 date as Magees prestigious fight. Tickets for that City West hosted fight night go on sale this coming Wednesday and details of the undercard will be announced on January 7.
Whilst Andy Lee is closing in on a March 12 fight with WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.
Martinez promoter Lou DiBella is currently meeting with HBO regarding a Madison Square Garden title shot between middleweights biggest name and the Kronx trained Limerick southpaw.
“Lou DiBella is trying to complete the deal today. It’s a natural for HBO, and he’s in New York trying to work on it, Lees manager Emmanuel Steward explained. “There are only two places that it’s most logical in New York, and that would be the main arena at Madison Square Garden or, in the small one [WaMu Theatre.] There is no way that HBO would let Martinez go to some other network.”