the son of former welterweight champion turned top-level trainer
"Buddy" McGirt, middleweight contender James "Buddy" McGirt Jr. (22-3-1,
11 KOs) was once a promising young contender and a staple on televised
an admitted party lifestyle cost the talented southpaw and led to his
three career losses and eventually to him stepping away from boxing for
the past three years.
is now back, 31 years old, signed up with a new co-promotional group
consisting of Leon Margules and Luis DeCubas of Warriors Boxing and
Javier Arce and Armando Garcia Chavez of G&A Boxing Promotions, and
ready to make his much-anticipated ring return this Thursday night, when
he takes on Larry Smith Jr. (10-21-1, 7 KOs) of Dallas, Texas, in a middleweight six-rounder.
McGirt vs. Smith will serve as a highlight on the undercard of Warriors
Boxing's "Noche de Combates", a special edition of ESPN Thursday Night
Fights, from the iconic Hialeah Park in South Florida, featuring Roberto
"La Amenaza" Garcia (34-3, 22 KOs) of Weslaco, Texas, taking on Victor
"Mermelada" Cayo (32-4, 23 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in
the night's 10-round welterweight main event.
the 10-round middleweight co-feature, undefeated Jonathan "Mantequilla"
González (17-0-1, 14 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will face Sonora,
Mexico's Rogelio "Porky" Medina (32-5, 26 KOs).
for "Noche de Combates," are priced at $20, $35, $50 and $100 and are
on sale now. They can be purchased at ticketforce.com, as well as
hialeahpark.com, and also at the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino box
office. For more information, call the special Boxing Hotline at
who hasn't fought since losing to top contender Edwin Rodriguez in
2010, says he missed the attention being a world-rated fighter brought
him and has made all the lifestyle adjustments necessary for a serious
run at a world championship.
What brought you back to boxing, James?
told myself I was going to do it and give 100%. I was going through
some business and legal stuff with my old promoter and things weren't
working out. So, I just stepped back and got my life together. Things
are 100% better now for me. I'm a grown man now and I know what time it
How did you hook up with your new promoters?
DeCubas was my first manager when I turned pro. Then we parted ways on
good terms and I went another way. Warriors is located in Southern
Florida where I live and I know they're a great promotional group. Plus,
I've got Javier and Armando working together and helping me out. I'm so
grateful for all of them and I have to go out there and make them all
Do you still have what it takes to be a top fighter?
I still have it? I'm ten times better than I was before! Making a lot
of money at a young age and not doing the right things outside the
boxing gym caught up to me. I told myself I wasn't going to box again
until I was totally prepared to give 100%. I'm ready now. Words can't
express how excited I am. I've been missing it. I've been watching big
fights on TV and watching the middleweight division and it's wide open
to make a good run at becoming world champion within a year.
I should say that I've been out of the ring for the last three years,
but I haven't been totally out of boxing. I've been in camp with Lucien
Bute, Andre Dirrell and Andre Ward, three highly respectable names and
I've learned a lot from them. I kept myself sharp. I was still working
How is your weight for this fight? Any problems?
I'm probably going to come in at 162. The contract is 164, but I've
been under that for the past week. With it being three years away, I
didn't know how my body would respond, but making weight was a lot
easier this time without all the partying in my off time. Now that I'm
living a clean life, it makes it a lot easier.
How do you picture your fight with Smith unfolding?
the knockout comes, it comes, but I just want the bell to ring and
start the fight already. I miss it. I missed the limelight of the boxing
world. Being a top-rated fighter and leaving the game for three years,
you miss it. I've been given this opportunity to showcase my talent now
it's do or die time and I have to take advantage of it.
featured Thursday night will be two more recent Warriors Boxing and
G&A Boxing Promotions' co-promotional signees, twin-brother
featherweight contenders, Juan Carlos Velasquez and Carlos Ivan "Twin
Dream" Velasquez, from Catano, Puerto Rico, now living in Miami.
Carlos (11-1, 5 KOs) will face a stern test in comebacking former world
title challenger Rogers Mtagwa (27-16-2, 19 KOs) of Philadelphia, via
Tanzania. Carlos Ivan (16-1, 11 KOs) will be facing Guillermo Sanchez
(13-11-1, 5 KOs) from Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
that night will be an eight-round light heavyweight bout, featuring
knockout artist Yunieski Gonzalez (13-0, 13 KOs) of Havana, Cuba, who
will put his perfect record on the line against Arpartado, Colombia's Jaison Palomeque (14-9-1, 9
KOs); and a six-round cruiserweight affair between undefeated Cuban
Vilier Quinonez (7-0, 4 KOs) of Havana taking and Edgar Perez (5-8, 3
KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In preliminary action, Cairo Egypt's Ahmed Elbiale (3-0, 3 KOs) will see action in a light heavyweight four-rounder against Steven Chadwick Jr. (2-5, 1 KO) of Jacksonville, Florida; and in the four-round welterweight opener,
Bogota, Colombia, via Hollywood, Florida's Jorge Quintero (0-1) will
face Davie, Florida's pro debuting (and Florida 2012 Golden Gloves
Champ) Jeff "Rambo" Souffrant.
Park & Casino is located at 2200 E 4th Avenue in Hialeah, FL. On
fight night, Thursday May 1, 2014, gates will open at 6:30 PM ET and the
first fight will be at 7:00 PM ET. All bouts are subject to change.
ABOUT WARRIORS BOXING
in 2003, Warriors Boxing operates under a simple philosophy-bring the
best boxers in the world to fight fans, match them in competitive
bouts, and in doing so help re-establish the sport of boxing for a new
a series of successful Pay-Per-View shows and packed houses to it's
credit, the Warriors business model is working wonders in a sport that
was sorely in need of the innovation and energy that the company brings
to the table.
When it comes down to it
though, a promotional company is only as good as the fighters and
fights it promotes. Warriors Boxing has delivered on all fronts, with
outstanding bouts such as Lara-Molina, Cayo-Peterson, Abraham-Miranda I
and II, Miranda-Pavlik, Miranda-Green, Ibragimov-Briggs,
Ibragimov-Klitschko, Urango-Hatton, Urango-Bailey, Cayo-Maidana and
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