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McGirt Says He Will Be Ready to Fight Whitaker This Time

October 01, 1994|RICHARD FINN

NORFOLK, Va. — This time it will be a fair fight.

So said James (Buddy) McGirt of his rematch with World Boxing Council welterweight champion Pernell Whitaker, here in the champion's hometown tonight before an expected capacity crowd of 10,500 at the Scope.

Eighteen months ago, McGirt lost the 147-pound crown to Whitaker in a 12-round unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden, a result the New Yorker contends was caused by a left shoulder injury that turned him into an one-armed fighter through the last six rounds.

"That's what cost me the title," he said.

Although doctors had diagnosed the injury before the fight as simple tendinitis, it proved to be a ruptured tendon, which required surgery a week after the bout.

McGirt promised matters would be quite different this time.

"I'm going to take it to him from Round 1 to 12 with both hands firing thunder," said McGirt, who has a 63-3-1 record with 44 knockouts. "I'm going to give him the worst whipping he has ever had.

"Last time I didn't have two guns and I went to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral with only one thing, six bullets, and there were seven guys. . . . You can shoot six of them, but one is going to be standing and he's the one who is going to tear you up."

Although Whitaker, 33-1-1 with 15 knockouts, had easily dominated the first fight, the fact that he had to go the distance to win inspires confidence in the challenger's camp.

The Whitaker side dismisses all the talk as that of a sore loser.

"When he stepped in the ring he was 100%," said the 30-year-old Whitaker, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist. "He had to reach for something when he started losing because no one wants to accept losing. Excuses, excuses."

Said Whitaker's co-manager, Lou Duva: "He's a whiner."

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