14.08.07 - History will be made on the next Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the Point, Dublin on Saturday, August 25th when Tony Oakey defends his British light heavyweight title against Lisburnís Brian Magee. The eagerly awaited contest will be the first ever British title fight to be staged outside of Britain since the prestigious Lonsdale belt was first awarded in 1909. Portsmouth native Oakey will enter the ring as champion but the bookies are leaning towards the challenger with Magee installed as the pre fight favourite.
Oakey says heís surprised and a little tempted by the odds! The 31-year-old said, ďIím surprised that the bookies have him as favourite. If thatís the case then I might just have to get down to the bookies and put a few quid on myself!Ē
ďI think the bookies are forgetting that this is Brianís first title fight up at light heavyweight and my biggest asset is my strength. Iím a proper light heavyweight and my strength combined with my workrate is going to be the difference in this fight especially in the later rounds.Ē
Magee has countered that argument by claiming that the later rounds will be his territory. The 1996 Olympian said, ďI think Iíll have more energy in the championship rounds because I was working so hard to make super middleweight that I just couldnít carry my strength through the full twelve rounds and I think thatís cost me before.Ē
ďIím far more comfortable at light heavyweight. I still have to work to get down to the weight but itís not a struggle anymore and I feel far better for it.Ē
Magee only just missed out on winning the European super middleweight title in 2005 losing a controversial points decision in Germany to Vitali Tsypko so heís happy to get another title tilt on what is practically home ground in what promises to be a spectacular night of boxing with Bernard Dunne defending his European super bantamweight title against Kiko Martinez.
ďIíll have great support in Dublin and itís great that the fight is happening on such a big night for Irish boxing,Ē said Magee. ďIíve been training alongside Bernard in the build up to this one and I think weíve both benefited from that. We do our roadwork together in the morning and then train together in the evening as well. Weíre both facing massive fights so itís been good to be able to train alongside each other.Ē
ďOften Bernardís just been starting training camp when Iíve been about to fight or vice versa but this time weíre both fighting on the same show so itís meant that the gym has been buzzing for the last few weeks. Of course the fact that my fight with Tony is making history adds to the buzz and makes for a great story and hopefully I can cap it by claiming the title.Ē
Naturally enough Oakey foresees another scenario. The champion said, ďIíve fought so hard to win this title that itís going to take a special, special fighter to take it from me and no disrespect but Brian Magee isnít that fighter.Ē
ďPeople are saying itís a real 50-50 fight and Iíve no problem with that. I have an awful lot of respect for Brian. We both turned professional around the same time and Iíve bumped into him a few times over the years and always got on well with him so Iím not going to start trash talking.Ē
ďIt will be strange defending the British title in Dublin and itís nice for myself and Brian to be part of history but at the end of the day itís a fight and it doesnít matter if the fight is in Dublin or our back gardens itís just going to be the two of us.Ē
Oakey says heís yet to study any video of Magee but remains confident of his chances. ďIím not one for watching tapes to be honest although Iíll probably watch some of Brianís fights next week. Thatís not to say Iím taking him lightly because Iíve left no stone unturned in preparing for this. Iíve prepared for this fight as if itís going to be the toughest fight of my career even though I donít think it will actually turn out that way.Ē
The Tony Oakey Ė Brian Magee fight is part of a terrific lineup at the Point with the Irish professional debut of undefeated sensation Andy Lee and appearances from Matthew Macklin and Paul McCloskey on the card. Headlining the event is the clash between European super bantamweight champion Bernard Dunne and undefeated mandatory challenger Kiko Martinez.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night promoted by Brian Peters Promotions in association with Denis Hobson and Team Magee are priced from Ä75 and are available from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets.