Brian Magee to defend WBA interim title in Denmark

Brian Magee will make the first defence of his WBA interim super-middleweight belt against Denmark's Rudy Markussen in Copenhagen on 18 February.

Magee, 36, outpointed Jaime Barboza to capture the fringe WBA belt in Costa Rica last July.

The Belfast man has happy memories of fighting in Denmark as he knocked out Mads Larsen to win the European title in Aarhus in January 2010.

Markussen, 34, has won 37 of his 39 professional bouts.

His two defeats include an IBF super-middleweight challenge against Sven Ottke in 2002 when he was outpointed by the German.

The Dane went on to lift the European title two years later when he beat Germany's Danilo Haussler but he took over three years out from the sport after suffering the second defeat of his career when knocked out by Sergey Tatevosyan in 2006.

Markussen resumed his career in May 2010 and has put together four stoppage wins since then.

Magee insists that "everything is on target" for his 18 February defence.

"He's a hard hitter but I've been in with some of the hardest hitters in the world and it never fazes me," said Magee.

"Even though I'm 36, I still feel as though I'm a prospect.

"I feel I've got a big year to 20 months in front of me."

Magee was stopped in a IBF title challenge by Lucian Bute last March but is optimistic victory over the Dane will keep him on course for another tilt at one of the major super-middleweight belts.

Andre Ward is currently rated as the WBA's super champion as he also holds the WBC belt with Karoly Balzsay the champion and Magee the interim title holder.