Belfast Boxer Brian Magee takes on Jaime Barboza for the WBA interim super-middleweight title in the crippling heat of San Jose this evening (Saturday).
The 35 year-old Northern Irishman has been training in Panama City ahead of the fight in a bid to acclimatise to the intense humidity, but the home advantage means that Costa Rican Barboza has no such concerns.
This will be Magee’s first outing since losing to the IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute back in March, and he is more than aware of the threat posed by Barboza,
‘Barboza is strong, tough and aggressive and I have to be ready for anything…this is a big fight for both of us – I have to try to win this title and then move on to bigger and better things.’
Both Magee and his co-managers, Pat Magee and John Rooney, are acutely aware how crucial this bout is, Pat Magee explained,
‘When we started out with Brian we didn’t think we could get to this point, fighting Lucian Bute and now this fight which can lead to a WBA title shot. It’s been a tough road, it’s been a lifetime’s work and I’ve got to say that whenever Brian retires I’m retired. I want to sit at the ringside and enjoy it.’
Barboza, who has won 17 fights and suffered 4 defeats, is confident he can make the step up from his usual light-middleweight and become Costa Rica’s first ever male World champion boxer,
‘Magee has a lot of good qualities as a boxer, but he is nothing special. I watched his fight against Bute. I’ve studied that fight and others he’s had and I am confident I can beat him.’
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