No horsing around for James McGirt in Saratoga tomorrow

VERO BEACH, Florida (July 24, 2008) – Don’t expect to see middleweight prospect James McGirt, Jr. (18-1, 9 KOs) betting horses at The Spa, beautiful Saratoga Race Track, at least not until Saturday despite him spending several days this week in Saratoga Springs..

McGirt, coming off his first pro loss in April to Carlos DeLeon, Jr., broke camp Wednesday in Vero Beach (FL) and headed north to upstate New York strictly on a business trip to get his career back on the right track -- headlining tomorrow’s ESPN Friday Night Fights show in the 10-round main event against former IBO and WBU middleweight champion Raymond “Hallelujah” Joval (37-4, 16 KOs).

McGirt learned a valuable lesson against DeLeon, who James had floored at the end of the sixth round, only to get careless going for a knockout in the seventh and consequently getting stopped himself.

“Training camp went very well,” James said. “We pushed everything to the limited. I’m very excited to be fighting in my first ESPN main event and I can’t wait for it to happen. Everything is cool, baby.”

Joval, who fought in the 1992 Olympics representing The Neatherlands, has beaten the likes of Sam Soliman, Willie Gibbs, and Shannon Taylor. He’s won four in a row since losing a 10-round decision to Fernando Vargas in 2005.

“Raymond’s coming to win,” James remarked. “I know that he’s going to try and use his experience. He’s going to try and take it to me and I’ve gotta knock him on his butt. He may be looking past me. After my last fight, I learned that I need to be 100-percent focused on my opponent, not looking ahead to anybody else, especially against a fighter like Raymond.”

McGirt’s head trainer and father, 2-time world champion “Buddy,” agreed 100-percent with the decision for James to fight Joval instead of a walk-over type opponent. “Everything’s been great,” Buddy added. “Now it’s all up to James to put it all together Friday night.”

Article posted on 24.07.2008

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