Magee set to take on the world

BRIAN MAGEE will today be confirmed as the mandatory challenger for Dimitri Sartison’s WBA world super-middleweight title after successfully defending his European crown against Roman Aramian at the National Stadium on Saturday night.

The Belfast man, in the first defence of the title, won every round before Aramian refused to come out for the ninth, claiming an arm injury, and Italian referee, Luigi Muratore, registered a TKO.

Magee’s manager, Pat Magee, confirmed immediately that the European champion would be handed mandatory challenger status today and that they would be looking towards a shot at Dimitri Sartison’s WBA world title before the end of the year.

“Once they (the WBA) confirm us as the mandatory contender, it is up to us to arrange the fight. He is No 1 in the WBA ratings but the reason they could not confirm him as a mandatory contender is because he had this fight in place. Once you are declared a mandatory, you can’t fight anyone until you fight for the title.

“It will go to negotiations after Monday. It would be tremendous if this fight was in Belfast. Who would want to go to Germany? But if the money is right, the way Brian Magee is boxing – he’s a professional boxer, he’s in it for the money – if the money is right, we’ll go anywhere.

“In the last week, Brian was within an inch of possibly boxing for the vacant WBC title. We’d had a choice then between the WBA and the WBC but, to be honest with you we’d always target Dimitri Sartison as the opponent because we think he is made for Brian.”

He said Magee had shown his condition in Saturday night’s fight and said that after a two-week break, he would be back in the gym preparing for Sartison.

“He was tremendous tonight,” he said. “That guy was an iron man. If it had been a local referee, he would have been going to the corner after five rounds saying ‘if your guy doesn’t start making progress, we are going to stop this fight’.

“At the end of the sixth round, he showed signs of distress in his corner and we thought he was going to be pulled out. In the seventh round you could see he kind of stumbled back (to the corner) and when he went back after the eighth, I knew it was all over. He sat in the corner and was complaining about his arm or his shoulder or whatever. That was an excuse, every bit of him was hurt. It should have been stopped earlier.”

Brian Magee said his fitness was the big factor, combined with the atmosphere at the National Stadium, which was like a home from home for him.

“It was great coming back here to the National Stadium, where I fought so many times as an amateur. I won five Irish titles and boxed several internationals here so it was a sort of homecoming and from the reception I got, people haven’t forgotten me.

“I am will be a mandatory challenger for a world title fight now. We will wait and see what happens. Pat (Magee) will look after all that. I just go and put in the performances and they do the hard work.”

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