TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Spadafora adds ex-champ McGirt to corner for title fight

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Kevin Gorman podcasts

  • Loading...
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 7:12 p.m.
 

McKees Rocks boxer Paul Spadafora will have a former two-time world champion working his corner for his world title fight next Saturday against Johan Perez.

James “Buddy” McGirt joined Spadafora's team Thursday at Buzz Garnic's Round 2 training camp in Coal Center. Longtime corner man Tom Yankello will remain the lead trainer, Spadafora said.

Spadafora (48-0-1, 19 knockouts) will fight Perez (17-1-1, 12 KOs) of Caracas, Venezuela, for the interim WBA light welterweight title Nov. 30 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in Chester, W.Va.

“It's just for security and to have extra eyes on me,” Spadafora said of McGirt. “He's been there in the ring. He's proved himself as a fighter and proved himself as a trainer. I'm confident in bringing him in just for a backup plan.”

McGirt held the IBF light welterweight title in 1988 and the WBC welterweight belt from 1991-93. He has trained a dozen world champions, including Joel Casamayor, Vernon Forrest, Arturo Gatti and Antonio Tarver, and was named trainer of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2002.

Spadafora trained with McGirt for eight months while undergoing alcohol and drug rehabilitation at a treatment center in Miami, where McGirt said they “developed a relationship” and have stayed in touch.

“With a guy like this, you don't change him,” McGirt said. “You try to remind him of the little things to make him sharper than he is. I'm a team player. I believe the main thing at the end of the day is, it's not about the trainer; it's about the fighter.”

This isn't the first time Spadafora has had someone other than Yankello work his corner. In a move that caused friction in his camp, Jesse Reid was added in 1999, prior to Spadafora's fight with Israel “Pito” Cardona for the vacant IBF lightweight belt. Pernell Whitaker also worked Spadafora's corner for his comeback fight against Ivan Bustos in 2009.

McGirt and Yankello promised there would be no problems.

“It is exactly what it is, nothing more and nothing less,” Yankello said. “There is no conflict. There is no disrespect. We're here to bring out the best in Paul.”

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
  2. Steelers won’t be backed into a corner at NFL Draft
  3. Crosby’s 2 goals lift Penguins past Rangers, even series
  4. Eastbound Parkway West to reopen Sunday morning
  5. Starkey: Taylor’s type fading away
  6. Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
  7. Sutter steps up for Penguins in series-tying victory
  8. Marte jump-starts Pirates in win over Brewers
  9. Penguins notebook: Johnston says Perron needs to shoot
  10. Use of multiple contractors could leave oil, gas operators open to hackers
  11. NFL draft preview: Rich harvest of receivers