Adam Booth knows a good fighter when he sees one. He trains David Haye and George Groves - and reckons Michael Maguire has more talent than both.
Booth regarded Maguire as “probably the most naturally talented fighter I’ve ever worked with” and compared him to ring legend Roberto Duran for his fighting ferocity and boxing brain.
Booth trained Maguire at the start of a professional career that shows signs of finally igniting after an unhappy spell in the capital where he felt isolated from family and friends.
Maguire is back home in Peterborough preparing for the big show in his home city on Saturday, June 22.
Cello Renda tops the bill when he challenges Danny Butler for the English middleweight title - and world-class amateurs Danny Ahrens and Maguire feature on the undercard.
As an amateur, Maguire won a clutch of national honours and was rated one of the top teenage talents in the world.
He made every punch count, broke down opponents with body punches and there were signs in last month’s rout of Elemir Rafael at the Arena that the 24 year-old bantamweight from Eastfield is ready to show his world-class skills in the prize ring.
Maguire reckons boxing in Peterborough will bring out the best in him - “I don’t want to make myself look stupid in front of my home crowd,” he said - and promoter Robert Waterman is convinced the pint-sized pugilist is on course for title fights.
“Michael should be challenging for honours next year,” said Waterman, “and I think him and Danny Ahrens are the most exciting fighters I’ve worked with for a long time.
“Potentially, they are both world-class fighters.
“I think Michael has it all. He has all the tools and we need to keep challenging him. He thrives on a challenge.”
Maguire’s points win over Rafael was his seventh win in eight fights - and relaunched his career after a 16-month break.
“He didn’t look very rusty,” said Waterman. “Bearing in mind how long he had been out of the ring, I thought his last performance was remarkable and I think the local support played a part.
“Michael likes a stage and when he heard the roar of the crowd he wanted to put on a show.
“I’m looking for him to put on another exciting performance next week.”
The show in Peterborough also includes red-hot prospects Jordan Gill, Eli Frankham and Sam Barron, along with Whittlesey crowd-pleaser Jake Dyer. Tickets are available from 01733-882565 and www.toe2toeboxing.com.
Phantoms ice hockey star Jozef Sladok was to have made his ring debut on the show but the city-based cruiserweight has been forced to pull out after damaging his nose in training.