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McGirt: Mayweather, Marquez - The True Greats of Our Era

By Michael Marley

On Wednesday at the downtown Manhattan Trinity Gym, former world champion and now topflight trainer James "Buddy" McGirt, was preparing Irish hopeful Matthew Macklin pounded for his March 17 Madison Square Garden challenge against legit middleweight champ Sergio Martinez.

McGirt seems geniunely optimistic that the Lad From Tipperary by way of Birmingham, UK, can shock the hard hitting Argentinian on the big Irish holiday evening.

I asked McGirt if he was using Paul Williams, who fought Martinez twice, as a measuring stick for the champion. (Errratic PWill won a debatable decision over the ex-bicycle racer and then was flattened in two rounds.)

"No, I don't base it on Williams. I mean, what is Williams, nothing but a good pitcher and not a good catcher. We know you can't walk straight in on Martinez and I don't want my guy to get too macho, I want him to fight smart," McGirt said. "Martinez is strong, awkward but effective."

McGirt's own credentials are impressive. He won 73 pro bouts, lost only six and had one draw. Consider this, though, he lost twice to nonpareil Pernell Whitaker, once to the then great Meldrick Taylor and once to rugged Texan Frankie Warren but whipped Warren in a return bout.

Sprinkle in the fact that the Alo Certo trained and managed scrapper from Brentwood, Long Island, posted victories over two real slicksters and world champs, Sweet Saoul Mamby and Livingstone Bramble.

Which is where Mayweather comes in as far as McGirt's expert opinion goes.

"The only guy, the only fighter around now who could really compete, really belong with the top guys from back in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, is not Manny Pacquiao, it's Mayweather. Mayweather is the only currently active fighter who can you can truly say is a great fighter...Oh, and put Juan Manuel Marquez in there also."

McGirt, now age 48, said the recent death of great trainer Angelo Dundee is a reminder of a key reason the now generation is sadly lacking in awesome ring talent.

The former junior welterweight champ said, while he has huge respect for Marquez trainer Nacho Beristain, for Houston-based Ronnie Shields and for Pedro Diaz, Cuban trainer who now tutors Miguel Cotto, he can't name a long list of quality boxing tutors. McGirt says the Invasion of the Mittmen is the real problem.

"I've got great admiration for Nacho, I think he's really great. I'd love to go to Mexico, to work with him. Ronnie is one of the best and I saw Cotto's guy in the gym, I really like how he works.

"We've got too many mittmen and not enough real trainers," McGirt said. "Some guy gave me a card, told me, 'I'm the best mittman in boxing.' That doesn't make him a trainer. Ray Arcel never worked the mitts and neither did the great Eddie Futch."

Without proper teachers, one cannot expect too many brilliant pugilistic pupils.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Brother Jay on 03-13-2012

[QUOTE=hugh grant;11846467]FLoyd and JMM are greats of this era no doubt. But countless people think Pac is the greatest of the era.[/QUOTE] Good luck finding a non-Asian that still feels that way. Its 2012. Its a new day. JMM showed…

Comment by Brother Jay on 03-03-2012

[QUOTE=Syf;11847482]Brother jay, hugh grant, b toney, bojangles and straightleft all arguing about nothing lol... It remind me of an average night with my gf[/QUOTE] LOL .. I don't argue about "nothing". I express my distaste for bullsh!t concerning the sport…

Comment by Brother Jay on 03-03-2012

[QUOTE=BillyBoxing;11848318]Many thought he beat the guy Floyd is atually fighting in his next fight. He also beat Judah and Corrales(Floyd best wins?). Clottey is a decent win, nice re-writing history. :)[/QUOTE] Clottey is a decent win? Name one world champion…

Comment by hugh grant on 03-03-2012

[QUOTE=Tony B.;11848685]I'm a "racist who should be banned" for saying that Pinoys over-rate Pacquiao because of his ethnicity? Are you kidding? Did you see how I also said that Puerto Ricans (MY PEOPLE) do the same thing by over-rating our…

Comment by Tony B. on 03-03-2012

[QUOTE=Syf;11847482]Brother jay, hugh grant, b toney, bojangles and straightleft all arguing about nothing lol... It remind me of an average night with my gf[/QUOTE] If you don't find the conversation interesting, then go to another thread. Or go hang out…

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