By Jonny Stapleton
ANTHONY Fitzgerald plans to use Brian Magee as his very own WD40 as the pair spar this all this week.
The Dubliner has travelled to Belfast with trainer Phil Sutcliffe to help the WBA interim champion prepare for his Copenhagen title defence against Rudy Markussen later this month, but claims the session will invaluable in terms of his February 25 fight preparations.
‘The Pride’ makes his ring return for the first time since winning the EBU middleweight title last March and believes rounds with the Irish Boxer of the Year will remove any potential ring rust.
The WBA top 15 fighter is also relishing the challenge of gauging himself against a world champion.
“It has been a while since I fought. I have been keeping in shape and sparring, but sparring a champion of Brian’s quality will ensure there is no ring rust in Hove. I know it is just sparring, but seeing how I fair against Brian will be great. He is a world champion at super middleweight and he will give me an indication of where I am at and what I need to improve on. Also if i can play my part in a world title win for an Irish fighter that would be great,” Fitzgerald told www.irish-boxing.com.
The inner city Dub faces a tough return task as he takes on former Matthew Hall defeater Alexey Ribchev. Indeed a task made that bit more difficult by the fact the 26 year old has had 11 months without a fight.
Fitzgerald, however, is eager to get back into major title contention and claims ‘its against his boxing religion’ to take easy fights.
“I could have had a handier return but I want the big fights and I have to prove I am ready for them. I am confident I can beat Ribchev but he will give me a work out. He like Ryan Clarke and some other names mentioned is respected and known as a tough lad.”