Brian jets off to Canada

BOXER Brian Magee says he is in the best shape of his fighting career as he begins the final preparations for his biggest challenge since he turned professional.

The Lisburn man sets off for Canada on Saturday as the countdown gets underway for his IBF supermiddleweight title fight with Lucian Bute on Saturday, March 19 in the Bell Centre, Montreal.

European super-middleweight champion Brian admits this is a huge leap in class, Bute is undefeated in his 27 fight career, but he does not fear going into the back yard of the champion and facing a hostile crowd.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I have been in this situation before,” said Brian. “I won a seventh round stoppage over Lars Madsen in Denmark to upset the odds so I can certainly handle it.

“I have the utmost respect for Lucian Bute. He is a quality boxer. He is a superstar in Canada, a bit like a David Beckham figure among the fans and going by his results he has earned it. He is a good fighter, he can mix it up, move forward and go side to side when he has too. He is always on the move. I have watched a lot of his fights so I have a fair idea of what to expect.

“My own training has gone really well and I feel really good within myself. I’m not going to predict what I can do. I am going to let the fight take its course and give it my best shot. I count myself lucky to have this chance. At the age of 35 to get back into contention for something like this after injury and a couple of defeats is a dream come true. Not many fighters get a chance like this.”

Brian has lost just three fights in 34 and has always been a gritty and skillful fighter but it will be interesting to see how the two southpaws square up when the bell goes next Saturday night.