Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Brian Magee aiming to be back in the ring in October to re-ignite his career

Difficult bout: Brian Magee in action with Mikkel Kessler

BRIAN Magee is determined to put his drug test controversy behind him and pursue another world title shot before he hangs up his gloves.

Magee's reign as WBA World super-middleweight champion came to abrupt halt last December after barely a month when he was stopped in emphatic fashion by classy Dane Mikkel Kessler in Herning, Denmark.

But that defeat has not ended the Belfast man's desire to become a champion once again and manager Pat Magee says he will now start plotting his return to the ring after a traumatic six months in which he feared his career was over after failing a drugs test following the defeat to Kessler.

Manager Magee was just as shocked at the news when he took the call from British Boxing Board of Control secretary Robert Smith that Magee had failed the test – subsequently discovered to be due to a contaminated sports drink powder.

Manager Magee said: "To be honest after all that has happened if I ever have another boxer in my care I will be telling them to take nothing but food.

"All the boxers take these sports drinks and these shakes for before training and after training and there's nothing wrong with them but this case with Brian just shows you that you cannot be 100 per cent sure about anything.

"When the news came through to me I just couldn't believe it but once we were made aware of it we conducted a thorough investigation to prove what had gone wrong.

"We went through the notes of his coach Bernardo Checa, we checked a nasal spray that he had used and then we got the sports drink tested – at a cost £1,250 – and it was found to be contaminated and that was the cause of the problem.

"Brian told UKAD that he wanted to take a six-month ban and that is up from next Monday. So from then he is clear to box.

"If there had of been any wrongdoing on Brian's part the ban would have been two years and that would have been the end of his career because he is 38."

Now Pat believes he can push his fighter back into title contention and a shot at the European super-middleweight belt is a realistic possibility.

"Brian has been back in training but now he can really get his head focused on boxing and build up his fitness," added Pat.

"I would be hopeful that he would be back in the ring around October or November.

"The plan will be to get him right back into title action as soon as possible because at his stage of his career he can't be going back to eight rounders.

"He has established himself as a top fighter over the past few years and there are still some very big fights out there for Brian. It will be good to put this whole saga behind us."

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