James McGirt, Jr. moving on up

VERO BEACH, Florida (March 29, 2007) - Team McGirt has announced that unbeaten prospect James McGirt, Jr. (14-0, 8 KOs) from now on will campaign exclusively as a super middleweight. In his last two fights, both contracted at 160-pounds, the 6-1 McGirt struggled to make weight and, despite registering a fourth-round TKO in his last bout against Anthony Little, wasn't at his physical and mental best. McGirt, in fact, came in 1-1/2 pounds over weight against Little, which cost James a few dollars out of his pocket..

McGirt simply is too big to fight anymore as a middleweight. "It's gone beyond him struggling to lose weight," McGirt's manager Dennis Witherow explained. "It's become an impossibility when there's nothing to lose. His next fight (last eight round fight, May 2 in New York City) will be at 164 plus 1. It's absolutely the right thing to do. Buddy (James' trainer and father) and I talked about it before James' last fight. James can't see what we see and we noticed the difference in the gym. He looks like a different guy but losing the last three pounds is brutal. We're employing a nutritionist so, as he's losing weight, he'll be better prepared to retain his strength."

"The 168-pound division promises to be action packed and lucrative over the next few years. The division should now make room for James McGirt, Jr., a young man on the rise," said Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment.

McGirt, 24, was born into boxing, the son of famed James "Buddy" McGirt (73-6-1, 48 KOs), former IBF light welterweight (1987-88) and WBC welterweight champion (1991-93), as well as 2002 Trainer of the Year (Boxing Writers Association of America).

"James' intensity was there a little more in his last fight and he was a little quicker than his previous fight," Buddy said. "Once he got cut it brought his tenacity back. But his weight loss was a big factor. I've analyzed his fights at 163-164-165. He has different snap to his punches and feels much better at that weight. In the gym, I see the difference when he hits the bag, and I feel it on the mitts. He couldn't lose any more weight his last fight. He dehydrated his whole body and then started sweating. That worried me. He's only 24 with a big frame. That's it; the next McGirt to fight at 160 pounds will be my grandson."e dehydrated his whole body but started sweatingHe

McGirt, whose most notable victory to date was an eight-round decision against Stephan Pryor (10-1), son of another great champion, Aaron Pryor, also felt the difference between fighting as a middleweight and super middleweight.

"I felt it on the bag and punching," he added. "I even felt it on my runs. At 165-166, I can run all day. I weighed in over, put on my plastic suit and went into the steam. I couldn't sweat and did not lose another pound. After the weigh in I drank and started sweating. That bugged me out."
McGirt, now rated No. 34 by the World Boxing Council, is moving on up in different ways.

Article posted on 28.03.2007

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