James McGirt Junior Bounces Back With Career-Best Win, Out-Points World Class Raymond Joval

by James Slater - Last night, in Saratoga Springs, New York, 25-year-old James "Buddy" McGirt Junior bounced back from his TKO loss to Carlos De Leon Junior by unanimously out-pointing the vastly experienced and world class Raymond Joval. McGirt scored two knockdowns in the 3rd round, and triumphed by scores of 97-91, 99-89, 99-89. McGirt improved to 19-1(9). Joval fell to 37-5(16)..

Though the scoring may have been a bit unkind to the 39-year-old from Amsterdam, McGirt Jnr was a worthy winner. Now having gotten himself not only a superb confidence booster after having suffered his first pro loss back in April, but also his career-best win as well, the 25-year-old southpaw from Vero Beach, Florida is right back in the mix of things as a hot prospect.

Fighting as a middleweight, as opposed to a super-middleweight, McGirt proved many doubters wrong last night. In taking a fight with such a seasoned and durable opponent (Joval has never been stopped) only three months after being stopped and beaten for the very first time, many questioned the wisdom of both McGirt and more so, his father and trainer, James McGirt Senior. The potentially risky move paid off, however, as the talented southpaw won in commanding fashion. Almost ending the fight in the 3rd round, when he decked the man known as "Hallelujah" twice with hooks - first with his right, then with his left - McGirt made a big statement.

And although the veteran deserves credit for the way he came back into the fight late and forced some rounds, the points gap was by then too late to overcome. In beating the former WBU middleweight champion, McGirt did something fighters such as Sam Soliman (in the first of two fights with Joval) Angel Hernandez and Willie Gibbs could not do. While in out-pointing the 39-year-old, the prospect matched the win Fernando Vargas earned over Joval a few years back. Make no mistake, for a young fighter, with less than half the number of pro bouts under his belt that what Joval has, this was one fine win indeed for McGirt Jnr.

James' father did say, right after his son had lost to De Leon, that losing his unbeaten record was a good thing, as it removed added pressure from his shoulders. By putting him in so tough so quickly after losing his perfect record, McGirt Senior proved he has lost none of his faith in his son's abilities as a fighter.

Judging by last night's performance, these are abilities that will take this generation's McGirt a long way.

Article posted on 26.07.2008

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