On February 19, 2016, Philadelphia based Super Middleweight Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker (7-1, 5 ko’s) is back on the big screen, participating in the first fight of ShoBox: The New Generation’s quadruple header that features many talented-yet-unproven young fighters from across the country.
The assignment is an 8 rounder against Rutherford, New Jersey’s John Magda (11-0, 7 ko’s) – a three-time NJ Golden Gloves champion.
Both boxers are 24-years-old, both built good records in completely different fashions since joining the professional ranks.
You would have to go back to the Philly Boxing golden era to find a local fighter who put in the amount of in-ring work that Brooker and team compiled in 2015. Over the span of one year, the TroubleMakers from Fast Lane Gym in West Philly took eight fights, winning seven and using a surprise mid-year loss as a learning opportunity.
In today’s Philly boxing landscape, local awards can be won on popularity and the number of people one can bring to a ceremony. Sometimes old-fashioned hard work is overlooked for flash. Brooker’s activity and willingness to learn should be commended, regardless of how far his career goes.
His most recent fight was clearly the best performance of his career when he out pointed the previously undefeated Leo Hall at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA. This was a fight where many Philly boxing “experts” felt Brooker was in over his head
Once the bell sounded, Brooker’s hustle and work rate ware far too much for the Detroit native to handle. Along with another victory on his resume, Brooker made his name known to boxing fans around the world as the fight was televised across the globe on the Fox Sports 1 Toe-to-Toe Tuesday series.
After the fight, Brooker told the boxing press “”It was a good fight. He’s a good boxer, but I had to keep it rough. He has some good experience that kicked in, but my will, my heart and my training kicked in too.”
Brooker’s trainer – known around town as Philadelphia Fats – told us ” a lot of people really don’t know the hard work we put in. People are beginning to see and believe in us. EVERYBODY LOVES A WINNER”
Now it is time for the encore performance. He is again cast in the role of underdog. There are many out there pulling for Magda to shine on a national stage.
“I love being the underdog; I’m accustomed to it. That’s why I work so hard, remain dedicated and will not ever quit.” said Brooker at the weigh-in.
With all on the table, Brooker is still very much a work in progress. His inexperience could be an issue under the bright lights and some with a trained eye point to a lack of natural ability. Time will tell if he can overcome the tall odds of making it in this sport.
In the other corner will stand John Madga, a 6’1″ southpaw with an outstanding amateur pedigree. Team Magda has taken a very slow road through the ranks since turning professional in 2013.
Timing is everything and patience is a virtue in this sport. He has a team that believes he can make it to the top. The push starts now and they want to capitalize on Brooker’s new-found exposure to a national audience. Like Brooker, his last win was a career best when he pummeled former contender Dionisio Miranda at the Valley Forge Casino.
That win would have been great 5 years ago. The cold reality today is that Miranda is a shell of his former self. This bout serves as a step-up of sorts for the North New Jersey native. He has been carefully matched along the way to building his record. This will be his first opportunity to compete under the bright lights of national television. This will also mark Madga’s first young, hungry opponent who has a sincere goal of being the best.
“I’m not really too worried about whether it’s on TV or not on TV,” Magda, 24, said. “It’s just a fight. I’ve got a job to do.”
This contest will end an 8-month layoff for Magda which is by far the longest stretch of inactivity of his three-year professional career.
The 24-year-old southpaw has done his homework. He was recently quoted in northjersey.com saying “He’s a strong guy who likes to throw a lot of punches,” “He’s busy. I don’t think he’s the most technical boxer. He’s not a fast or flashy fighter, but he comes forward and throws punches. I think that makes for a good opportunity because, stylistically, it’s a good match-up for me. Not only is this a fight I think I should win, but it’s also a fight that I could look good winning.”
“Whoever they put in front of me, I’m ready to fight,” Magda said. “I’m a fighter. I’m not here to beat nobodies. I want to have a career in this sport, and to do that I’ve got to continuously move up and continuously fight better competition.”
This is a good way to kick off a show. Salute to both fighters for stepping up who are taking a chance on big stage in order to further their career. In a sport where it is common for prospects to take easy fights – this is a breath of fresh air.
Check out full interviews with both courtesy of Marc Abrams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cvwhYA6yIM
Be sure to tune in to ShoBox this Friday at 10 p.m. EST. The show is presented by GH3 Promotions and held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The TV portion of the show will include Adam Lopez vs. Mario Muñoz, Ronald Ellis vs. Jerry Odom, & Lavisas Williams vs. O’Shaquie Foster.
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