Magee believes in the ‘new’ Sinclair
There was a time when Eamonn Magee took advantage of Neil Sinclair's erratic career but now he's helping to hone the Belfast man for one last shot at title success.
Back in 2003 Sinclair was set to box Jimmy Vincent for the WBU welterweight title but pulled out and in stepped Magee to claim the belt with a comprehensive points win. Sinclair's career has suffered ever since but assistant coach Magee says he saw green shoots of hope in the 35-year-old's defeat at the hands of EU champion Daniele Petrucci last summer.
Furthermore, he has been pleasantly surprised at Sinclair's work ahead of tonight's clash with Mayo's Henry Coyle for the vacant Irish light-middleweight title.
Magee said: “The Neil Sinclair I've seen in the gym is the best I've ever seen and that includes when he fought for the world title and was British champion. And I wouldn't let you quote me on that if I didn't believe it.
“I think light-middleweight suits him because he makes it very easily and the power he has been showing in the gym has been incredible.
“He's been in there with light-heavyweights and middleweights and they've been the ones coming out complaining of sore heads — even hours later.
“There were times when even I was wincing with the way he let go with the punches and I'm not just talking about single shots but quick combinations.
“I truly believe that a lot of people are going to be shocked at how sharp he looks. Of course he has to now do it in the ring but I'm very confident. Neil is physically and mentally in the best shape I've seen.”
Magee's confidence in Sinclair extends beyond what he believes will be a stoppage victory and onto what Frank Warren can deliver for the former British welterweight champion.
Magee added: “Whether it's fighting Matthew Hall for the Commonwealth title or Jamie Moore for the European title I would give Neil a great chance.”
Coyle, though, naturally believes that Sinclair is exactly the springboard he needs towards pursuing his own clash with European champion Moore.
"I've prepared really well in Chicago and I'm ready to go and do the business. It's an honour to be fighting Neil Sinclair in Belfast and I'm looking forward to giving a good performance," said Coyle.
It should be exciting while it lasts but if Magee's assessment is correct then Sinclair should be champion inside the distance and a new chapter will begin.