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Boxing Roundup: McBride featured in battle of the behemoths

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

None of McBride’s two titles, the All-Ireland heavyweight belt he’s held since 1997 and the fringe IBC Americas crown he picked up three years ago, will be on the line in the 10-round contest at Foxwoods Casino.
The fight will be broadcast live by ESPN2 immediately after the John Duddy-Leonard Pierre middleweight showdown at 10 p.m.
McBride, a 6-foot-6 behemoth dubbed “The Clones Colossus,” was bubbling with confidence last weekend and vowed to get his 13-year pro career back on track following the Tyson disappoint and long layoff.
“I’m in tremendous shape and ready to go,” he said in an interview from his Brockton, Mass., home. “I know that I’ve got some ring rust, but I’m up to the task.”
McBride, who’s 31 and 31-4-1 (26 KOs) in the paid ranks, said although the fight was scheduled for 10 rounds, he didn’t think that it would go the distance.
“Two big men in the ring, each over 200 pounds, it’s exciting stuff,” he said.
Indeed, Montiy, who at 6-5 will be spotting McBride only an inch, is no slouch at his level, as his 15-2-1 ledger with 12 KOs suggests. The 29-year-old’s last bout was a points loss to Demetrice King in Detroit last November.
McBride is confident that he’s put in enough work for the fight, thanks to trainer Goody Petronelli and fellow Irish pro Paschal Collins who’s been lending a hand in the gym.
“Packie Collins has gotten me in great shape. He’s been in a lot of camps with his brother [former two-time world champ Steve Collins] and has helped me to prepare mentally and to get focused,” the heavyweight said.
During the worst part of the New England winter, Team McBride moved camp to Florida where the Irish champ sparred with the likes of Shannon Briggs and Tony Smith.
He’d earlier sparred with IBF world heavyweight titlist Chris Byrd in Las Vegas.
“If [Kevin] looks good on national television, he’ll get Mike Tyson again,” said promoter Richie Cappiello, voicing his hopes.
“The heavyweight division is so open that a real good performance on national television opens the door for Kevin.”
Cappiello, however, doesn’t underestimate the threat posed by Montiy.
“He’s a big guy like Kevin, a pretty good puncher, pretty tough, and another guy who realizes [that] if he beats Kevin he’s in the big time,” Cappiello said.
McBride returns to action for the first time since halting Marcus Rhode in three rounds in December 2003. He turned down the offer to fight “Iron Mike” last summer after the Tyson camp halved their original purse by almost 50 percent only to see his replacement, Briton Danny Williams, KO the former champ in four stanzas.
McBride is on a six-fight winning streak, all by KO, since his last defeat, a fifth-round TKO by DaVarryl Williamson in Las Vegas three years ago.

James Clancy (3-0, 1 KO) will be the other Irish heavyweight in action at the Foxwoods Casino. He meets Florida’s Harold Rodriguez, whose ledger is listed as 5-11 by Boxrec.Com.
The post-St. Patrick’s Day Irish fisticuffs will also include a cruiserweight scrap between James’ young brother Mark (1-0) and Minnesota’s Joe Lorenzi (0-2-1).

At the historic King’s Hall in Belfast on Friday, Eammon Magee (25-4, 16 KOs) completes a miraculous return from a vicious street attack last year when he defends his WBU welterweight title against Denmark’s Allan Vester.
Nicknamed “The Terminator,” Magee, who’s 32, was left with multiple fractures after the assault and told that he’d never box again. But he’s worked himself back into shape to make the first defense of the World Boxing Union crown he won with a decision over Jimmy Vincent in December 2003.
In the main event, unbeaten Welshman Joe Calzaghe (38-0) will make a voluntary defense of his World Boxing Organization super middleweight belt against former IBO titlist Brian Magee (23-1).

Wayne McCullough’s reputation remains unscathed despite his latest setback.
A points loser to World Boxing Council super bantamweight holder Oscar Larios last month, McCullough has climbed to third place in the latest WBC rankings.
Ring Magazine has also elevated him to seventh position from eighth place in its Pound for Pound Best and division ratings for March.
McCullough said with Larios out of commission following surgery, he wasn’t holding out any hopes for a rematch.
“He’s out for four months apparently due to surgery — so I hope to be able to announce my next fight soon,” the one-time WBC bantamweight titlist said. “I know one thing for sure, my promoter, Dan Goossen, is doing everything he can to put me in another big fight as soon as possible.”

Paschal Collins’s long-delayed comeback will have to wait a little bit longer. Both Collins, a super middleweight, and Galway middleweight Martin Thornton were scheduled to appear on a show at the Dorchester Armory last Friday that was scuttled by Irish promoters Martin Ward and Danny Kelly because of the weather.

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