Boxing: Magee finds support for world title defence

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The Independent Online

It has taken Brian Magee over four years to convince the public in his home town of Belfast that he is worth their support, but he has finally won their hearts and minds and a full house is expected for tomorrow night's defence of his International Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title at the King's Hall.

Magee is unbeaten in 20 fights but even he admits that many of the men on his record were inferior to him and were nothing more than the usual fodder the prospects are fed to enhance their records and give them confidence. He has developed into a quality fighter and has been expertly matched against the fading Frenchman Hacine Cherifi, who will tomorrow provide the type of test that promoters like, but is unlikely to travel back to Paris with Magee's belt.

Barry Hearn has put together three undercard fights for a variety of championships and they are all likely to be entertaining. Roy Rutherford defends his British featherweight title against his former amateur rival Dazzo Williams in the type of fight that old-timers refer to as a "slug fest". Hearn has ordered a full-size ring, but for Rutherford and Williams he could have sold seats for a scrap in a telephone box.

At light middleweight Jamie Moore, who is surely one of the most underestimated boxers in Britain, defends his British and Commonwealth titles against Andrew Facey in an extremely risky fight.

The least convincing fight on the card is the vacant British super middleweight encounter between Tony Dodson and Alan Foster. Dodson and Foster are probably not in the top five super middleweight's in Britain but they are in theory the highest ranked available boxers and therefore their fight has been sanctioned.