LISBURN boxer Brian Magee believes that his December 8 clash with Mikkel Kessler is a bigger opportunity than his previous world title adventure against Lucian Bute. Brian travelled to Montreal, Canada in March 2011 to face the IBF title holder, then an undefeated southpaw on the cusp of superstardom. Despite putting up a brave effort Magee was stopped in 10 rounds by Bute.
“This is definitely bigger than the fight with Bute because even though Bute was a big star in Montreal, Kessler is known and respected around the world,” opined Magee, who was recently upgraded by the WBA to full world title holder. “It’s a harder fight as well because they don’t give away world title belts; you have to fight these guys to win them. It’s the stuff of dreams. As Mikkel says himself you do your running and work hard in the gym to get the big wins.”
Magee may now be pushing towards 40 but the classy southpaw is like a fine wine that gets better with age. Since turning professional way back in 1999 Brian has amassed an impressive 41-fight record that includes 36 wins, four losses and one draw, with 25 wins arriving via the big knockout.
“I’ve done a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get into these positions,” he revealed. “I feel good and if I fought myself now against when I was 28 or 29 then I would back myself to win. In these big fights anything can happen. In my eyes Kessler is probably the greatest Danish boxer ever and one of the best super-middleweights of the past decade.
“It is a pleasure to get to fight him; this is massive for me. I’ve been in Denmark twice and fingers crossed on December 8 it will be a great fight and I will be successful - it is fantastic for me. To have a long career you have to look after yourself but you also need people to look after you and get you the right fights. Kessler has been one of the best fighters in the division over the past decade and somebody to be admired.”
Brian can call on previous good form in Denmark having beaten two local boxers there in the past two years.
“I have been there twice before and have been treated like a king so it is probably easier to go there than to stay at home,” Magee concluded.