Pretty good boxer

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

TORONTO - Orangeville boxer Logan Cotton McGuinness has a nose that makes a right turn halfway to his kisser, and a face that’s been battered and bruised.

But none of that seems to matter.

Sure, McGuinness is an accomplished fighter, in fact, he’s considered one of the top up-and-coming professional boxers in Canada.

But it’s not his skills in the ring that have made the personable boxer such a big hit. It’s something a little more basic.

According to Adam Harris of the British promotional outfit Hennessy Sports, McGuinness’ effect on women is astonishing, and certainly not something they expected when McGuinness, who meets fellow Orangeville native Buzz Grant on Saturday at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga for the vacant NABA lightweight title, signed with Hennessy in June 2008.

“He’s a handsome guy and I know that he has boyish looks, but there’s other fighters we have (at Hennessy) that have good looks,” said Harris. “But there’s something about his demeanor that endears him to the female fans. Although he’s obviously tough and rugged, he’s got a side to him that hits a nerve with them.”

Call it the kavorka, the lure of the animal, though McGuinness tries not to play the handsome angle up too much. For one thing, being called a ‘Pretty Boy’ isn’t always a compliment in the ring, though it’s a moniker that has been used in fight circles for decades (remember Toronto heavyweight Pretty Boy Felstein?)

“I’m a fighter, first and foremost,” McGuinness said recently, over a plate of pasta at an Etobicoke eatery. “Sure, I care about the way I look, but I’m never going to be worried about getting marked up. I mean, look at my nose right now.”

Still, banged up schnoz or not, it’s uncanny the attention he receives before, during and after his fights.

“It’s always different,” said Harris. “Everywhere we go, there’s always female fans screaming his name. And talk about some Indecent Proposals.”

Once before a fight at the Hershey Centre, Harris said that he got a call “out of the blue.”

“It was a girl who asked me to look her up on Facebook. She was quite lovely, beautiful. Turns out she was working as a model. She said she’d like to come to Logan’s fight, that she was a big fan of his. I told her that I’d see what I can do, and she added, ‘I’d like to come prior to the fight, and is it possible to see him in the change room?’ I said I don’t know if I can do to that. I asked her why, and she said, ‘I’d like to oil him up before his fight,’ ” Harris said.

Another time, during a holiday in Mexico, an American gentleman pointed out his three beautiful daughters to McGuinness and invited him to their summer home so he could get acquainted with the one of his choosing.

“It was the only time I’ve seen Logan at a loss for words,” said Harris.

McGuinness, 23, who turned pro in 2008, had crafted an impressive 10-0 record before meeting Colombian warhorse Walter Estrada at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., last May.

It proved to be an exceedingly difficult fight for McGuinness, who was dealing with some personal issues at the time. But he managed to bang out a six-round draw against the tough Estrada and certainly didn’t have the look of a Pretty Boy afterwards. Again, that didn’t seem to matter.

“Right after the fight, even though I was pretty beat-up-looking, this girl came up to me and handed me a piece of paper that said, even though she was there with her boyfriend, she wanted to meet up with me,” he said with a laugh.

Still, none of that takes away from the fact that McGuinness is a fighter through and through. He’s as tough as he is charismatic.

A real mark of his toughness was his victory over English journeyman Sid Razak in his third bout. Razak has an awful record, but was already a seasoned pro with one more win than McGuinness had fights by the time the two met in the ring in October 2008.

The fight was on a Saturday in Norwich, England, and McGuinness was scheduled to fly over on the Thursday. Unfortunately the flight was delayed and by the time he touched down at Heathrow, he was a day late and, it turned out, without proper documentation. He was then put in a holding room for about five hours.

“Mick Hennessy (owner of Hennessy Sports) had to call in a favor. He knew an MP, and they got me the papers and got me out. But by the time I got to the hotel, it was four in the morning on fight day,” he said.

The Hennessy people told him he didn’t have to fight, but they’d pay him anyway. But McGuinness insisted on fighting.

“Fortunately it was only a four-round fight,” said McGuinness. “But I was dead after the first round.” Still, he earned a decision win.

But he promises to be in great shape for his match on Saturday against hometown rival, the 32-year-old Grant, 9-3 with four KOs.

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca


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