Lightweight prospect Danny McDermott of North Bergen, NJ will get the opportunity to fulfill his life-long dream of winning a world title on July 16 when he challenges for the vacant WBU title at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.
McDermott, age 32 with a record of 8-3 (3 KO), will try to invoke the spirit of fellow North Bergen boxer, the late great "Cinderella Man" James Braddock and become the town's first native born world champion in 80 years.
"It's an amazing opportunity, it's a once in a lifetime shot that I didn't think would come this soon," said McDermott. "I'm just gonna train hard and try to make the best of it and become a world champion. Every morning, I wake up at dawn and run in Braddock Park and it gives me a lot of motivation, knowing that he had previously blazed the trail."
The World Boxing Union title has been held by some of the greatest boxers in history, including George Foreman, Tommy Hearns and James Toney, and was recently made popular by the Academy Award-winning film The Fighter, when Micky Ward won the title to become world champion.
The significance of the event was underlined last week when McDermott met with North Bergen mayor and New Jersey senator Nicholas J. Sacco at his office. Sacco, who is a big boxing fan, wished McDermott luck in his quest for a world championship.
In McDermott's corner will be new head trainer and former IBF junior middleweight champion Mark Medal of Jersey City, who knocked out Earl Hargrove in 1984 to win the title.
The twelve round fight will be part of a ten-fight boxing card promoted by Big Time Fights Promotions. The card will also feature former world heavyweight champion Oliver McCall and former world title challenger Bobby Gunn in separate bouts.
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