After 12 years and 38 professional fights European champion Brian Magee will finally achieve his ‘dream’ at the Bell Center in Montreal, Canada on Saturday night when he challenges Lucian Bute for his IBF super-middleweight crown.
The 36 year-old Irishman earned his shot at fellow southpaw Bute the hard way by traveling to Denmark and stopping local hero Mad Larsen. The win over Larsen was followed by an eighth round retirement win over Roman Aramyan and Magee believes he has earned his shot at the world title.
Speaking on a media conference call earlier this week Magee said: “I’ve had to work very hard to get here and do a lot of things to get this shot. I feel like I deserve it and I’m so happy to be here. It’s great to be fighting the best in the division on such a massive stage. This is where you want to be as a boxer. This is a dream fight.
The undefeated Bute will understandably be a hot favorite to retain his title and Magee is only too aware of what he has to do to win.
“I always seem to be the underdog but I’ve always come through,” said Magee.
“I’m going to have to box. I’m going to have to fight. When you fight a guy like Bute you have to be ready for anything. Any time you fight for a world title it’s going to be a hard fight. Lucian’s on such a high, signing a big contract with Showtime he’ll be out to prove himself.”
So, how does Magee feel about facing a fellow sothpaw? “It’s an advantage to me as much as it is to him and it’s a disadvantage to me as much as it is to him. I don’t like fighting a southpaw but there’s nothing I can do about it and I try not to think about it,” insisted Magee. “The guy I fought for the European Championship (Mads Larsen) was a southpaw. You just have to get in there and stick with what you do best.
“At this stage of my career it’s great to get a shot at a world title. It’s been a long way up the ladder to this point but as I said before I think I’m deserving of this shot. Opportunities don’t come around like this too often.
“You always try to get guys in here to spar with who are going to be like the guy you are fighting. It’s been hard to find a southpaw like Lucian but you do the best you can. I’ve had some southpaw sparring.
“I’m willing to take the fight whichever way it goes. I’m not looking for the knockout. The fight is here in Montreal and that doesn’t faze me. It’s a great city and the people are great and I’m happy to be here.
“I’ve always had belief in myself. Having seen what Carl Froch has been able to do in his career and having had such a close fight with him, I feel like I’m very deserving of this fight.
“Not many people get this opportunity. This is a chance of a lifetime. Hopefully I’ll have this memory for the rest of my life.”
March 16, 2011