July 31 Jonny Stapleton
It wasn’t quite a case of fifth time lucky, as Brain Magee ended Ireland’s 2011 World title hoodoo in comprehensive fashion in Costa Rica in the early hours of this-morning.
Magee succeeded were Willie Casey, Paul McCloskey, Matthew Macklin and indeed he
himself failed earlier in the year and won at world level comfortably outclassing Jamie Barboza with a performance that left nothing to chance.
The Belfast man put behind him his March IBF World title defeat to Lucian Bute and buckled the fringe interim WBA World super middleweight belt around his waist thanks to an unanimous 118-110, 117-111, 116-112 decision.
Now having proved he belongs at the super middleweight top table the Lisburn native, who was celebrating on the double having become a father again last week, wants to dine with the very best.
The 40 fight veteran’s impressive Indian summer look set to be prolonged and will most certainly get hotter.
Manager Pat Magee has recently name dropped Commonwealth champion George Groves, but the new WBA interim champion of the World seems to favour a rematch with WBC strap holder and potential Super Six winner Carl Froch.
“I am going to go home and let this sink in first. I will bring the belt home and spend time with the family. My manager Pat Magee will look at what is next.,” Magee said after the fight.
“With the Super Six coming to a close there are big opportunities in this division. There are big names and big fights for me out there. I think the one everyone wants and the one everyone is talking about is a rematch between myself and Carl Froch. If he still has a World belt and wins the Super Six I would be very interested. There are lots of options for me. It is a good division to be in at present and lots of opportunities for a champion.
“The preparation and this fight were tough but I got through it and I have a belt to show for all the work.”
The former Irish, British and European champion’s journey to the top may have been long and difficult, but he jumped the final World title hurdle with relative ease in San Jose.
It wasn’t quiet vintage from the 36 year old veteran, but he never looked troubled and
seemed to have Barboza out on his feet late on.
The little known Barboza’s wiliness to spoil meant the bout was never going to be a fight of the year contender, but he was durable and determined if not in Magee’s league.
The Bernardo Checca trained fighter, who spent two weeks acclimatising to Central American weather conditions in Panama, didn’t take long to acclimatise to Barboza ’s style.
He worked the body to great effect and literally took the wind out of the local hero’s sails and eventually denied him the chance to become Costa Rica’s first ever male World title holder.
He didn’t register the knock out victory on card that was part of Costa Rica’s KO to Drugs Festival, but claimed the title his career deserved.