Brian Magee believes he is bringing in a new era of boxing to Belfast on Saturday night, when he defends his IBO super-middleweight title against Argentina’s Omar Gonzalez.
The sold-out signs have been up at the Ulster Hall venue for two weeks and Magee is ready to bid over the next year to become a premier super-middleweight in the world, eclipsing WBO champion Joe Calzaghe.
“This is my first title defence at home and the place is sold out and I really believe this can be the start of something special in Belfast,” said champion Magee, who expects a tough night from Gonzalez.
“I feel now that I have the experience and the strength to take on anyone in the world and the plan is to face the best over the next 12 months.
“I’ve watched the videos of Gonzalez and he seems to be very dangerous with his head. In one of his fights he got disqualified and in his last fight he cut the guy with his head so I’ll have to be careful.
“But I’m determined to put on a real show for the fans and to show people that I belong with the best.”
While Magee would love a clash with Calzaghe, promoter Barry Hearn does not believe he can strike a deal with rival promoter Frank Warren.
Hearn said: “I don’t think that Calzaghe will fight Brian and so we are looking to move towards fights with the likes of WBC champion Markus Beyer or IBF champion Sven Ottke, the major champions.”