McGirt breaking out in 2008

VERO BEACH, Florida (November 5, 2007) – Slowly but surely, fight by fight, unbeaten super middleweight prospect James McGirt, Jr. (18-0, 9 KOs) is breaking from the long shadow cast by his father/trainer, former two-time world champion and 2002 Trainer of the Year James “Buddy” McGirt, and establishing his own identity in the ring..

The younger McGirt, fresh off of his workman-like win by unanimous eight-round decision (79-73 three times) on October 30 against Canadian light heavyweight champion Jason “Notorious” Naugler (17-7-1, 11 KOs), plans to breakout in 2008, capturing some regional titles, moving up in the ratings, and positioning himself for a future world title shot.

“I’m 18-0 now and will start fighting 10-rounders against ‘name’ fighters next year,” the stylish southpaw said. “It’s been a childhood dream for me to be fighting in big arenas and it’s coming true. I just beat a tough guy (Naugler) and now I have to take full advantage of the situation. You know, after the fight, he (Naugler) told me that he wanted to beat Buddy McGirt’s son. Even if my opponent is 1-99, he’s going to fight like he’s 99-1. My dad told me that before my pro debut. He said they’re trying to beat you and me.”

McGirt’s manager, Dennis Witherow, believes that James will make a name for himself in 2008. “He’ll definitely be fighting a 10-rounder after the first of the year,” he added. “We’ve been taking it slow. He’ll keep moving up, fighting better opponents, and we’re working to get him rated higher. James will be in the gym working on minor things, not major things anymore, and we want to keep him quick and strong.”

McGirt cracked the ratings and is gradually ascending, currently No. 32 in the WBC, as well as No. 10 by the USBA and NABF, No. 14 by the NABO and No. 15 by the NABA.

Despite fighting the likes of current WBA light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson and WBA junior middleweight title-holder Joachin Alcine, Naugler has never been stopped and he showed why against McGirt.

“I was very happy with James’ performance,” Buddy remarked. “He trained to do one thing but, when his opponent kept pressing and cutting off the ring, James had to switch mid-stream and fight. He averaged more than 100 punches a round for eight rounds. I thought Naugler was going to take a knee a few different times because James hit him with some vicious body shots.”

“Naugler wouldn’t let me box,” James admitted. “He really brought it and I had to stand and fight. I had to re-evaluate what I was doing against him. My father wanted me to box, but I told him (Buddy) that he (Naugler) was fighting, and I had to fight. I loved it because I’m learning and getting better in the process. I was fighting a guy who really came to fight.”

After the fight, Vernon Forrest (being trained by Buddy for a Dec. 1 fight) welcomed James to professional boxing, meaning everything doesn’t always go as planned in higher level fights, and James did a good job making adjustments during the fight.

“James is ready,” Buddy noted. “James has been in with different types of styles this year. Lou (James’ promoter Lou DiBella) has done a good job getting opponents. He’s gotten us veterans, punchers, boxers, guys that don’t hit too much, and others who put on non-stop pressure like Naugler.”

Team McGirt figures to parlay what James has learned in 2007 into a breakout year in 2008. “We thought Naugler would give us rounds and we got what we expected,” Witherow concluded. “James has been working with a strength and conditioning coach and it is beginning to show. I thought he had Naugler down a few times. He can really take a punch. James put together 5-6 punch combinations that rocked Naugler a few times. He just wouldn’t go down. It was a good fight.”

Article posted on 05.11.2007

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