Belfast Telegraph

Defiant Magee wants another world title tilt

By David Kelly

For a short while Brian Magee looked far from a 12-1 underdog but Lucian Bute never drifted from his imposing role as World champion and for all the Lisburn man’s bravery and skill it was just never going to be enough in yesterday’s clash in Montreal.

The vast majority of the 12,219 packed into the Bell Centre had expected to see Magee treated like a sacrificial lamb but this was not to be a slaughter but rather a measured, clinical 10th-round stoppage victory for IBF super-middleweight champion Bute.

But, having floored Magee in the sixth with a body shot which made the challenger wince with pain, he dished out a double dose of the same treatment in the seventh though referee Pete Podgorski only ruled one to be a legitimate knockdown, the other being seen as a low blow.

Bute was the master of his own destiny, having been perturbed by Magee’s quick single blows in the opening four rounds which left little between the two going into the fifth.

Magee’s experience was there for all to see as he refused to be drawn into the counter-punching traps of Bute and the challenger was looking quite comfortable.

Though, equally, the Romanian, based in Canada, was never truly pushed outside his comfort zone as he circled the ring looking for his moment to pounce.

The champion was carrying a significant edge in power which was all too evident when he exploded a left uppercut which ended Magee’s challenge in sickening fashion at 2:04 of the 10th. Some thought the stoppage a little premature but frankly it was a wise decision by the official.

Now braveheart Magee must weigh up whether to fight on and possibly pursue another version of the world title or call time on what’s been a rollercoaster career.

“It’s not so bad having a loss on your record against the best in the world.

“He’s a great champion. I gave it everything. He’s probably the best guy I’ve ever been in with. Very solid, compact, smart,” said Magee.

“I loved the whole experience, everything about it, and I still feel like I want to go on. I know that I can win a version of the world title but on this night he was the better man. He was quicker than I thought and he also stayed away from me and made it hard to catch him with combinations.

“I did feel that body shot in the sixth though you could see that I recovered quite quickly and that was probably down to my conditioning.

“In the early stages I knew that I had hurt him a couple of times but I just couldn’t get landing consistently.

“I’ll take a rest now but I would love to have a shot at maybe the WBA title. I think I proved that I belong at this level.”

Manager Pat Magee believes the former British and European champion should take his time to make a decision on future plans but is adamant that it would be difficult to put him in contention for another European or World title shot.

Pat Magee said: “Obviously we’re disappointed not to have won. But that’s a special champion in Lucian Bute. Clearly he’s the best in the world at super-middleweight. Brian’s stock probably has risen, and he gave him a great fight.

“Brian has done himself proud and now he should take six months to really think about what he wants to do. I’m sure he can get another title shot but it’s up him.”

Meanwhile, Limerick’s Willie Casey was stopped inside a round by interim WBA super-bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux at the Citywest Hotel Dublin on Saturday night.

Belfast Telegraph

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