Belfast Telegraph

Brian Magee right back in World title contention

Brian Magee is back on the trail of a world super-middleweight title.

My World: Brian Magee will fight Jamie Barboza for the interim World title next month in Costa Rica

The 36-year-old will travel to Costa Rica for a WBA interim World title fight with home town star Jamie Barboza on July 30, knowing that victory could actually lead to him owning the full World title.

Such is the politics of boxing, interim titles are put in place in order to keep the heat on the reigning champion to defend his belt.

Dimitri Sartison is the champion and he is set to defend his title against Stanyslav Kashtanov in August after 12 months out of the ring.

Such is the complex nature of the WBA World title, they actually have a ‘Super’ champion in Andre Ward who is lined up for a showdown with Britain’s Carl Froch in the Super Six final.

Ward and Froch have proved themselves to be the best in the world along with Lucien Bute, who defeated Magee in March in an IBF title clash.

Magee’s manager Pat Magee is delighted that the Belfast man has managed to secure his chance of shooting back into World title contention and will start favourite against 33-year-old Barboza.

Manager Magee said: “It’s a great chance for Brian.

“The interim title opens a lot of doors and should the World title not go ahead then Brian would be declared the champion and ordered to defend against the number one challenger. Brian’s performance against Bute did him the world of good — a lot of people around the world sat up and took notice even though he lost.

“We’ve been working hard to get him into this position and if he wins the interim title it then means he can be lined up for lucrative fights against the likes of George Groves or James DeGale.

“With Groves beating DeGale, a fight between Groves and Brian would sell out the Odyssey.

“Now Brian just has to get his mind on this fight. We’ll leave nothing to chance and our preparation will include two weeks in Panama.

“With Brian’s coach Bernardo Checa coming from Panama it’s an ideal training spot for Brian.”

lPADDY Barnes will aim to become the first Irish boxer to successfully defend a European title in Turkey this month.

A year after becoming the first Northern Ireland-born boxer to win a European Gold medal, Barnes will set out to lay down a marker for the World Championships later this year, ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

The 24-year-old expects a tougher test this time, as competitors in the light-flyweight division seek to impress ahead of the Worlds and Olympics.

Barnes said: “I’m really looking forward to defending my title because I think I will be the marked man, the one to beat. That’s the sort of challenge I thrive on.”

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