Before he focuses on a world title, Wach must first deal with McBride, who has proven he can excel in the underdog role. The 6-foot-6 slugger became the youngest super heavyweight in Olympic history when he represented Ireland in the 1992 Summer Games, competing amongst a field that included former world-title contender Larry Donald and semifinalist Brian Nielson, who won the International Boxing Organization (IBO) heavyweight title in 1996.
“McBride isn’t the fastest fighter, but he’s very tough and smart,” Wach said. “I'm used to facing tall opponents, but what makes this fight different is that McBride has a lot of experience and doesn't give up easily. He took very strong punches from Mike Tyson and never gave up and never quit when Tomasz Adamek was out-boxing him, so I know I'm in for a good challenge.”
Unlike McBride, Wach understands the significance of the WBC International title and has one eye toward the future as he prepares for July 29th. The Klitschkos – both Wladimir and WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko – are waiting in the wings for whichever contender dares to challenge them next.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to fight for this title, because it brings me one step closer to a fight with one of the Klitschko brothers for the world title,” Wach said.
“I want the opportunity to fight the best in the world, but I know I must earn it first, and this is part of that. This belt is essential to my heavyweight championship dreams coming true. All the great fighters have won belts like this one before facing the legends of their day. The legends of my day have won this belt, and so will I.”
Whether or not Wach succeeds depends on McBride’s ability to land his trademark knockout punch. McBride isn’t interested in trying to outbox the taller, rangier Wach on July 29th; his goal is to connect squarely on the chin, perhaps with a blow strong enough to make an entire country feel the aftershock.
“He better watch out,” McBride said. “I’m going to go in there and take care of business. I fight with no fear. This guy is undefeated – God bless him – but I’m not here to lose. I’ve got 29 knockouts, so I must be doing something right.
“This is a great opportunity, and wherever there’s an opportunity, there’s a chance.”