McGirt vs. DeLeon in battle between sons of former world champs

VERO BEACH, Florida (April 9, 2008) – The marketing of unbeaten super middleweight prospect James McGirt, Jr. (18-0, 9 KOs) spikes Friday night when the son of former world champion James “Buddy” McGirt fights in his first scheduled 10-round bout against the offspring another ex-world title holder, Carlos “Baby Sugar” DeLeon, Jr. (19-2-2, 12 KOs), in the 10-round co-feature on ShoBox, airing live from Miccosukee Resort in Miami..

“I had an excellent training camp, about two months long, and I’m ready to go,” James said. “All of the hard work has been done. My dad (and head trainer) watched tapes of DeLeon. He’s told me what to do and what to watch out for. That’s the way we always do it. Nobody breaks down tapes and analyzes opponents better than my father. I don’t watch tapes; I just do what he teaches me. Working with Glen Johnson has been great for me. He brings a lot of experience to the table and a lot of pressure. I really liked the work.”

The fathers of McGirt and DeLeon were world champions at the same time in 1988. McGirt, Sr., who had a 73-6-1 (48 KOs) record as a pro, was a 2-time world champion in two weight classes (IBF light welterweight 1988, WBC welterweight 1991-93). Carlos “Sugar” DeLeon, Sr., 52-8-1 (32 KOs) as a pro, was a 4-time WBC cruiserweight champion (1980-82, 1983-85, 1986-88, 1989).

“Training has been good, no complaints,” Buddy McGirt remarked. “The best part was working with Glen Johnson. No matter who we fight, they can’t put pressure on like Glen Johnson. They offered to pay James to spar with Glen, but we did it for the experience. DeLeon is a good fighter. His specialty is a double left hook. The key is to nullify it.

“James’ strength and conditioning program has helped him a great deal. You can see the difference in his body, especially his legs. Plus, he’s maturing. I’ve put him in the gym with the best to test him, and James has gained a lot of valuable experience that way.”

McGirt, rated No. 26 by the WBC, is a southpaw originally from Brentwood, New York, now living and fighting out of Vero Beach, Florida. DeLeon, rated No. 29 by the WBC, is the reigning USNBC champion from Puerto Rico.

“Friday night is where we wanted to be (ShoBox in first 10-round fight),” McGirt’s manager Dennis Witherow explained. “We did this like a business plan with long range plans. We knew that it was going to take time to get there. A win in this fight will be a big leap towards where we want to get. Ideally, we’ll get a look at a top 15 or bigger name opponent. One different thing about James now is that outside of the ring he understands boxing is a business. He’s not a trash talker like other guys, preferring to let his hands do the talking, but he realizes he has to market himself. He’s been talking to kids in school, attending charity events, and he’ll be doing more things he really enjoys like that.

“James is proud of who he is. He is a true student of the art of boxing. He’s been educated in boxing his entire life. Not only has he learned how to be a good boxer, he knows when to box and throw certain punches, not just throwing ‘em at random. His strength is going to be the biggest surprise. His conditioning has always been great, but the conditioning and weights program he’s been on has made a huge difference.”

Part of McGirt’s marketing campaign includes a mission statement to become the first family in boxing to feature father-son world champions with the former working his natural son’s corner as head trainer when the latter captures a major world title. The McGirts want to make boxing history together and the next chapter starts Friday night on ShoBox.

Article posted on 10.04.2008

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