By Dave Spencer
Photo Dani Graham
While not exactly a conquering hero who has come home to great fanfare and adulations, Logan McGuinness has instead become hero who has come home and conquered; gathering increased fanfare with each passing round. In fact he’s quietly become the face of boxing in Ontario and will headlining this Saturday versus Polish fighter Krzysztof Szot (16-3-1 5KO) who will be venturing outside of Poland for the first time.
McGuinness will be putting his undefeated 17-0-1 (9 KO) record on the line at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph in his eighth consecutive fight inside the borders of Upper Canada; a string that has seen wins coming in all possible fashions.
“I take the role as an honour,” McGuinness told FightNews of his new found position as the main attraction in Ontario boxing. “But every time out I go and excite the fans.
“My last three fights fans have seen three different things, the last fight was against Meacher Major where I was able to score the quick knockout; the fight before that against Benoit Gaudet I was down on the scorecards and around the 9th round I started getting to him a bit more and steadily picked it up and was able to get the come-from-behind knockout in the 11th round; and the fight before that was something different again, a fight where I’m winning the first seven rounds and then I got hurt in the 8th, I never went down but I was out on my feet in 8th round. I went back to my corner, recovered, fought a great 9th round before going out for he 10th and final round where I got caught and hurt again, but again, I survived that round, I didn’t go down. I think it’s just exciting, it builds drama and it excites the fans here.”
That present run has seen McGuinness rattle off 5 NABA wins in two separate weight categories and finding his home in the super-featherweight division. It seemed as recently as a year ago that 130 might be just too much for the fighter to get to achieve and still fight effectively. His first dip below the 130 mark was in 2010 in Montreal and while he scraped out a win against journeyman Pedro Navarrete, McGuinness struggled and did not look sharp at the lower weight. A NABA lightweight title and two defenses seemed to seal the deal until success against former Olympian Benoit Gaudet where the Quebec fighter used his clout and cache to have the bout fought at 128 pounds. But when underdog McGuinness came roaring back and turned the tables with a come from behind victory, he found himself wearing a familiar belt, but in a new size.
“It’s all in the way you make the weight,” a 134 pound McGuinness says a week before Saturday’s bout that is contracted at 131 pounds. “The Navarrete fight I think I sweated out too much weight last minute. Now over camp with proper training and proper diet I just lose the weight gradually and get within two or three pounds of the weight and just sweat out the last two pounds. Right now I’m right on point. It’s all how you do it and it was my first time and I just don’t think I made it proper. Right now I feel great at 130, my last two fights have been here and I have two knockouts. I look forward to fighting on the weekend and performing.”
The name Szot certainly isn’t a household word but the Polish fighter did go the distance against former unified champion Nate Campbell in his last fight. “He’s a decent fighter who has never been stopped, the only time he was, was on cuts, he was never knocked out or anything. We got a couple of tapes and he seems like a tough guy, very durable. He looks like might be a bit shorter than me. I’m going to have to be on my game and outbox him, give him angles and use my jab a lot. I don’t want to trade with him too much, just deliver my combinations and get out of there. It would certainly be a statement if I could stop him.”