Today it has been announced that current WBA “interim” title holder and former British and European Super Middleweight Champion, Brian Magee, has been awarded his second crack at a full “major” title, this time against American Southpaw stylist/puncher Andre Dirrell on the 17th November.
The 37 year old Magee, from Belfast in Ireland, was given the opportunity to fight the American Dirrell, a former amateur star and Super Six alumni, following the stripping of the Hungarian Karoly Balzsay, who choose not to fufill his mandatory challenge against Magee so the title has since been made vacant.
Against Dirrell, Magee has the edge in experience having had 41 fights since turning professional back in 1999, stopping journeymen Dean Ashton on the undercard of Clinton Woods’ ninth round stoppage win over Crawford Ashley to win the British, Commonwealth and European titles at Light-Heavyweight.
During his 13 year professional career, Magee has fought some of the best Super-Middleweights in Europe and the world such as Lucian Bute, against whom he lost in the 10th round after being repeatedly dropped with sickening body shots.
Also Magee was defeated by Carl Froch, who inflicted the Irishman’s first stoppage in 11 rounds for the British and Commonwealth titles at 12 stone. Another former World Champion that Magee has been in with is ex-WBC champion Robin Reid, against whom Magee was dropped four times en route to losing his IBO title at the Kings Hall back in 2004.
Also appearing on Magee’s record are European champions in the shape of Vitaliy Tsypko, of Ukraine, to whom he had lost a tight 12 round points decision in Nuremberg back in 2005, and the Dane, Rudy Markussen, whom Magee defeated in his last fight with a body shot knockout back in February and also Mads Larsen in January 2010.
For Dirrell, the stand out opponents are Carl Froch, to whom Dirrell lost his only professional fight to date on a 12 round split decision in their opening bout of the Super Six World Boxing Classic in Nottingham and a 11th round disqualification victory over former IBF Middleweight king Arthur Abraham.
The latter, who Dirrell had frustrated with his superior athletic ability and dropped for the first time in his professional career in the fourth round before stretching his lead over Abraham until the 11th round.
At that point, Dirrell slipped to the canvas on a wet patch, giving the frustrated Abraham a chance to strike him when defenceless. An act that both unprofessional and downright cowardly, which left the American referee Laurence Cole in no other position but to disqualify Abraham.
Then a 21 month absence from the ring ensued before Dirrell returned to dispatch Darryl Cunningham in a 10 round contest, a warm up before a crack at a world title.
Dirrell possesses the advantages of height standing at 6ft 2 to Magee’s 6ft, with a one inch reach advantage of 75 inches to Magee’s 74 inches along with a superior physical and athletic ability, while Magee has the superior ring experience.
Come fight night, this writer expects that Dirrell will use his superior athletic ability and youth to box and move for 12 rounds, picking off Magee as the Irishman comes forward.
While Dirrell may have the KO power to possibly stop Magee, this correspondent very much doubts that Dirrell will do so. But we will have to wait until November to find the answer to this intriguing bout where both men have a lot to gain and a lot to lose.
Iain Langmaid can be contacted via:
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