“It’s a great honor for me to be chosen by the NABA as its Fighter of the Year,” McGuinness said. “I defended the NABA lightweight title twice since winning it in September (2010) and won the NABA super featherweight title as well. Hopefully, I’ll defend that belt once or twice and then reach the ultimate goal of fighting for the world title.”
McGuinness’ accomplishment came in a year that also featured NABA champions such as cruiserweight Lateef Kayode, middleweight Andy Lee and welterweight Mike Jones.
“He was the NABA’s most active boxer for this year,” NABA president George Martinez explained McGuinness’ selection. “He defended his lightweight title twice and then moved down one division and won that title with a good performance. Of all the champions we had this year, Logan was the most impressive.”
The 24-year-old McGuinness (16-0-1, 7 KOs), presently rated No. 9 by the World Boxing Association (“WBA”), relinquished the NABA lightweight crown to fight former world title challenger Benoit Gaudet (24-3, 10 KOs) last month for the vacant NABA super featherweight championship. Logan overcame a deep cut over his left eye from an accidental head-butt in the second round to register a dramatic 11th round knockout.
“Gaudet came to fight me in front of all my fans,” Logan added. “He was nothing but classy, before and after our fight. We have at least 6000 people at my fights (at Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario). It was so loud there that all I could hear was my name being announced. I’m from a small town (Orangeville), which is only 40 minutes north of the venue. The town is very supportive of its athletes.
“I’m excited to see what happens in 2012. I may be fighting March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and that would be a dream come true. I’ve only fought once in America (a six-round draw May 22, 2010 vs. 35-13 Walter Estrada at Mohegan Sun in Conn.) and it wasn’t my best performance. I’ve been waiting to get back to America to fight so fight fans there, especially the Irish, get to see me at my best.”
McGuinness is ready to go from promising prospect to legitimate contender.
“This is a great honor for Logan and well deserved,” promoter Adam Harris remarked. “Logan leaves it all in the ring, each and every time he fights, and we hope to land him a world title shot. Fans love watching him fight.”
McGuinness should move up in the next WBA ratings from his present No. 9 position, the highest ranking for any North American super featherweight.
“Now that I’m considered a top 10 fighter for the first time, next year at some point, I hope to be fighting a top 10 opponent,” McGuinness concluded .
“And within 1 ½-to-2 years, I should be fighting for the world title.”