BOXING: ROBBIE Reid is putting in three weeks of hard labour in the hope of making Brian Magee suffer when they clash on the Irishman's home soil.
The 33-year-old Runcorn super-middleweight is working overtime at his Manchester gym to get into top condition for next month's meeting of two British world champions in Belfast.
The fight, originally made for Saturday, June 19, has now been put back to the following Saturday (June 26) to avoid clashing with another major bill.
A firecracker contest is assured as the two protagonists put their belts on the line as bait for a bigger catch.
Magee will defend his IBO world-title belt for an eighth time while 33-year-old ex-WBC champ Reid is looking to hold on to his WBF crown.
Both know, however, there are richer pickings to be had.
The bout is an eliminator for the WBA championship held by former Australian rugby star Tony Mundane.
Reid can't wait to get back on track after December's unjust points defeat by Germany's Sven Ottke, the now retired IBF and WBA holder, in Nuremberg.
But while the former Olympic bronze medallist from Sutton Park will again be fighting in opposing territory, Reid's trainer Brian Hughes insists there are no other parallels to be drawn.
'Robbie is really fired up for this one,' he said. 'At the Press conference to announce the fight, they were apparently asking him whether he was perturbed at the prospect of fighting Magee in Ireland.
'There will be 5,000 screaming Irishmen there but Robbie said that won't bother him and honestly it won't.
'That Ottke fight is gone. We can blame the referee and everything but it's finished and he has to forget it and just get on with what he is doing now.
'The way the Ottke fight went took all the heart out of Robbie, but he kept going. This time it is two British boxers and he knows what he is up against.
'It won't bother him - neither the occasion nor the man. He will take it in his stride. I am confident he will be back to his best.
'Robbie will be a lot sharper than he was for the Ottke fight. We have got him in for a special three-week regime of hard, physical training - not boxing training.
'He is still doing a bit of sparring but it's not that intense. In two weeks' time, he will really start that.'
With Magee being a southpaw, Reid is preparing particularly for the unorthodox challenge.
Hughes added: 'Robbie has boxed against southpaws a few times, and quite successfully.
'We have a lad from Birmingham and another from London coming to spar and all the others lads in the gym will help him out and turn southpaw.
'We also have a good amateur who is just waiting to turn pro and is a natural southpaw.'
The Sutton Park ace knows, especially with a boisterous crowd behind him, Magee is an opponent the Sutton Park ace must, and will, respect.
Hughes said: 'I have watched Magee in every fight as he has been touted as one of the stars on Sky TV.
'They talk about him in his last fight being put down a couple of times, but he still won and very convincingly - he took 10 of the 12 rounds.
'You can't knock a man who has been knocked down and gets up to win by that margin.
'But Magee is what you call a spoiler and all the onus is on him.
'Five thousand Irishmen are coming to watch him, not Robbie Reid. He will have to come to Robbie to make the fight and that will suit us down to the ground.'