Boxing: Starie and Magee face tough bouts in Germany

David Starie and Eamonn Magee box in Germany tonight in two of the most daunting fights involving British boxers this year.

Both are expected to lose against German champions at a time when the sport in Germany is experiencing the type of boom British boxing went through about 10 years ago.

Starie, who lost on points over 12 dull and repetitive rounds to Joe Calzaghe in a challenge for the World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title in January 2000, gets a lucky second shot when he meets the unbeaten Sven Ottke for both the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Association super-middleweight titles.

When Starie lost to Calzaghe there was a genuine element of excitement before the opening bell, but the fight was a let down. Starie has been selected as a safe and routine opponent for Ottke tonight in Magdeburg. German matchmakers seldom get their sums wrong. Starie's best hope of winning could revolve around Ottke's swollen features and a recent backlog of hard and draining fights, but it will be a long shot.

However, Belfast's Magee has the right attitude and could very well be in the right place at the right time when he challenges Otkay Urkal for the European light-welterweight title on the same bill.

Urkal is a quality operator but struggled in his last defence, and Magee, who dropped and hurt Ricky Hatton in their memorable encounter last year, still has enough power and desire to upset the champion. Pressure applied at the right time could be enough for Magee to upset the formbook and pull off a rare victory in Europe for a British fighter.

Mick Carney, who has been associated with the Fitzroy Lodge club in Lambeth, south London, for 40 years has been awarded one of the sport's rare honours, an MBE for services to amateur boxing.

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