Brian Magee’s on title march: Bernardo Checa
Bernardo Checa has been honing Brian Magee for around a year now and tonight he expects the Belfast man to deliver a performance worthy of a world title challenger.
The Panamanian coach, who has trained numerous champions, has already guided Magee to the European super-middleweight belt and insists he can go on to claim the WBA World title.
That, of course, depends on how the Belfast man gets on against challenger Roman Aramian at the National Stadium in Dublin this evening.
Aramian, who had to weigh in twice yesterday after initially scaling a pound over the limit, is not someone that can be taken lightly as he has been the distance with the reigning WBO champion Robert Steiglitz but Checa believes Magee will have all the answers.
Checa, who worked alongside John Breen during the glory days of the Barney Eastwood gym, said: “Brian has really developed over the past year and I expect him to put in a very good performance.
“He was always a good fighter but I believe that he is adding more to his game and he’ll be ready for Aramian.
“He’s feeling very positive, he’s throwing more punches at a time and I think his footwork has improved as well.
“This guy will be tough, he’s not easy but I expect Brian’s boxing skills to be the difference.
“Then we can think about the world title fight and I know Brian can win the world title.”
Magee concurs with Checa that he has never been as positive going into a fight and draws comparisons with the night he defeated Mads Larsen to win the European title in January.
“Maybe it was because my back was against the wall, it was do or die against Larsen and I just knew I had to grab what was a golden opportunity which is what I did,” said Magee.
“When I had him hurt I was determined to get him out of there. This fight is similar to Larsen because I know how much is riding on the fight.
“The training camp has been really positive, I can't stand negativity and professional boxing can
make you cynical, it can make you negative and that can drift into your life outside boxing but I don't allow it to happen and Bernardo is very good about bringing a lot of positivity to the gym.
“Every day we work on something to improve on — every day there is one goal, one thing and it seems to be working for me.”
Aramian could try and get close to Magee, to outmuscle him but that should have little effect against the Belfast man’s superior boxing skills.
Expect the champion to be in full control by the middle rounds and probably force a stoppage.
Manager Pat Magee added: “If it all goes to plan then I’ll be straight on the phone to the WBA about the World title fight.”
Meanwhile, Wladimir Klitschko defends his IBF and WBO World heavyweight titles against Samuel Peter in Frankfurt tonight.
The clash, which is expected to draw a crowd of around 45,000, is a re-match of their clash five years ago when Klitschko was on the floor three times before going on to win on points.