Boxing: Brian Magee ready to take on world as he prepares to face Roman Aramian
Brian Magee may be eating and sleeping the first defence of his European super-middleweight title but there still has to be time for a little living.
The Belfast man is counting down to what is in effect a world title eliminator against Roman Aramian on September 11 at Dublin's National Stadium as Magee has recently been installed as the number one contender for Dimitri Sartison's WBA belt.
Preparation is as intense as ever as he goes through the daily grind of roadwork, sparring and conditioning in the St Agnes club under the watchful eye of coach Bernardo Checa.
So, when it comes to the end of the week the last thing he wants to think about is the ring.
“I don't watch that much boxing, I just watch the big fights but it's good to switch off. When you're working at it twice a day ... day in, day out really there's nothing worse that sitting in on a Friday or Saturday night watching boxing,” said Magee.
Not that he will allow himself to lose his edge for one moment. A game of snooker with friend Joe Swail or a family meal at a nice restaurant is enough for him to leave the intensity of preparation behind for a few hours.
Magee has been finding out a little more about challenger Aramian in recent days and has no doubt that he provides a genuine threat.
“I know that I have to be prepared for a very tough night. He's very durable and coming out of a training camp in Germany you know that he's going to have had plenty of work with quality boxers.
“He's going to come in with nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I have to be on my game. The National Stadium is a great boxing arena and I know from my amateur days that the atmosphere will be fantastic.
“My frame of mind could not be any better having heard the news about being the number one contender for the WBA title. This adds even extra importance to this fight though I cannot afford to look beyond Aramian.
“I'm well aware of other boxers who were in similar circumstances and then came a cropper because they looked too far ahead. I won't allow this to happen because I know that a successful defence of my title will guarantee me a World title fight next time up.
“If there are any worries on this score I am leaving them to my management, Pat Magee and John Rooney.”
Manager Magee believes the champion’s preparations have taken on an extra edge since he was installed at the top of the WBA ratings.
“The news that Brian is now the WBA number one has given a tremendous boost to his whole approach,” said Magee.
“I have never seen him so happy in himself and the atmosphere in the camp is tremendous. He is so anxious to get on with it that there have been times when he has had to be reigned in by John Rooney, Bernardo Checa and Alex Docherty from doing too much in the gym.
“There is always the danger of a fighter going over the top but his team know what they are doing and I am sure it will all add up to a performance from Brian which will demonstrate that he is indeed ready for that World title shot.”
The show also features the European super-bantamweight title between Spain’s Kiko Martinez and Arsen Martirosyan of Armenia.