By Alex Pierpaoli
originally published 1/22/08 on KOFantasyBoxing.com
It’s a new spin on an old story. Local kid hits the big time; but what’s different here is that the big time is just so close to home.
On Friday night, Ledyard, CT’s own Brian Macy makes his professional debut as a super middleweight boxer in the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Casino.
Macy got his first taste of boxing in March of 1993 when he watched Rhode Island’s Vinny Pazienza knock out Brett Lally in six rounds at Foxwoods. Pazienza’s effort and the drama of the event hooked the ten year old Macy on boxing and this Friday night Macy the man steps through those same ropes in the Fox Theater.
“I’m pretty blessed to be fighting…to be able to fight, make my pro debut in the place I first discovered boxing, really, is great. It’s a dream come true… I’ve seen so many fights there. I just would imagine every night marching into that ring. I’ve gotta put the work in now,” Macy laughs. “I’ve been waiting to fight there my whole life; I can’t go out like a bum! I gotta represent!”
Macy is a modern day renaissance man; a recent graduate of UCONN, he’s also an aspiring hip-hop artist and producer. Macy will enter the ring to his own rap thumping through the Foxwoods stereo system; his rap persona is B.Macy and he has his own MySpace Music page that features several of his recordings.
In what seemed like a strange intersection, his music and promotional connections have helped in selling tickets for his upcoming bout.
“I’m going to the same spots I’d promote a music show and I’m selling a good amount of tickets to the fight. People like fights more than local rap concerts.”
As a professional boxer Macy will be fighting in a division ten pounds south of the 178 pound amateur class in which he won more than one hundred twenty-five of one hundred fifty amateur fights.
“I haven’t made one sixty eight since I was about sixteen or seventeen…I just didn’t put a premium on cutting weight, I fought one seventy-eight so I’d walk around near one seventy-eight, so now cutting the weight and getting disciplined is starting to feel good. My body’s starting to look in better shape, everything’s coming together pretty good.”
The shift from the amateur ranks where volume punching and a busy work rate count for more than damage done is very clear to Macy, and he welcomes the shift in focus.
“It’s uglier,” Macy states plainly. “It’s more about heavy hands…to be honest I think it suits me better because I never was a fast-paced puncher.”
Despite the rigors of training camp, it’s been some time since Macy was busy in the ring.
“I had a fight in August on Mark Wahlberg’s card up in Boston. He threw a benefit card; he’s doing a movie on Mickey Ward and he [Wahlberg] had a little private amateur show at the Club Roxy for all the people involved in the movie.”
At the benefit Macy posed for a photo with Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward–the two gladiators who fought the first battle in their trilogy on Connecticut soil at Mohegan Sun in May of 2002.
“They’re both warriors, obviously,” Macy says reverently.
Macy is a student of the sport as well as a participant and his favorite pugilists are some of the greats in the pantheon of fistiana.
“I watch a lot of old fighters like Kid Gavilan, Archie Moore…I like james toney, I love that shoulder-roll. Sweet Pea Whitaker was probably my favorite fighter ever. I like Shane Mosley a lot. He came in second in the Junior Olympics and I did too. They always highlight people who were past winners in the Junior Olympics. When I heard he came in second that gave me a lot of motivation.”
On Friday night his professional journey begins when Macy battles Donnie Dukes of Albany, New York. Dukes is without a win in his four pro fights but he’s a durable opponent who extended Massachusetts’ Mark DeLuca four rounds this past December, also at Foxwoods.
“He’s awkward, he throws crazy punches and I guess he knocked a few of the guys down he lost to. I have too much respect for the sport in general to think that I’m gonna just go in there and knock somebody out.”
Macy debuts on the undercard of a heavyweight Main Event featuring Jason Estrada versus Charles Shufford. The evening’s co-feature pits Manchester CT’s Matt Remillard against Manuel Perez. The action starts at 7PM and tickets are available at the Foxwoods Box Office or on-line at www.foxwoods.com.