31 January 2010 – By Cormac Campbell
Brian Magee is the new European super-middleweight champion after stopping Mads Larsen in seven one sided rounds in Denmark on Saturday.
Magee was the aggressor from the first bell and quickly learnt that he could bully, hit and hurt veteran Larsen with alarming regularity. Magee again showed the impressive body punches that secured him the British title in December 2008s contest with Scotsman Stevie McGuire and pressed Larsen for every second of every round.
The writing was on the wall in the fifth as Magee put Larsen on the floor. In the sixth Larsen went down twice but with Magee on the verge of a stoppage victory the bell interjected.
Fortunately for Magee now trained by Bernardo Checa after a long association with Harry Hawkins one minute was not long enough for 37-year-old Larsen who, truth be told, appeared to have declined considerably from his heyday. Magee picked up the pace again in the seventh, forcing the stoppage after another knockdown.
The 34-year-old Irishmans aggression was no doubt influenced by dubious decisions in previous title fights notably a British title challenge to Tony Oakey (D12) in Dublin in 2007 and a previous European challenge to Vitali Tsypko (LPTS) in Germany in 2005. However, the 2010 version of Magee (33-3-1, 23KO) unbeaten since 2006 left no margin for judicial controversy and at times appeared ruthless in pursuit of his goal.
In victory, Magee joins fellow Irishmen Paul McCloskey (an impressive studio analyst for Setanta Ireland) and Matthew Macklin as continental kingpins. The Lisburn native has also opened up a world of lucrative possibilities with money spinning title defences and even world title tilts allegedly in the offing.
Saturdays contest was screened live by Setanta Ireland. Production-wise the show was excellent with Paul McCloskey and Steve Bunce gelling well in the studio and Neil Sinclair proving to be an informative colour commentator alongside Will Downing. One concern aired however was the difficulty in locating premises which were showing the fight in Northern Ireland. Given Setantas well publicised difficulties, many pubs north of the border have cancelled their subscriptions leading to a fight night scramble for boxing fans. Further commitment to the sport would undoubtedly remedy this, and conclusive performances such as Magees will do no harm in encouraging the money men at the Dublin based station to invest in boxing.
Magees manager Pat Magee (no relation) entered the ring wearing the tie of the Irish Boxing Supporters Club. The pair had been apologetic for being unable to attend January 23s National Boxing Awards and the gesture was a fitting nod to fans back home. The Supporters Club tie, priced 15/E16 is available from Gary Keenan at Bogart Menswear Belfast and Newry or by contacting Cormac at firstname.lastname@example.org.