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There wasn't an ounce of sissy in the 5-6, 140-pound McGirt when he took on the previously unbeaten [Frankie Warren], who had dealt McGirt the only loss of his 41fight professional career 19 months earlier. McGirt (39-1-1) met Warren (25-1) on his own turf of Corpus Christi, Texas, and pounded him into submission, his left eye swollen shut and his right eye following suit. Now, two weeks later, the two phones in the McGirt household rarely stop ringing, and there is a steady stream of visitors to the six-bedroom house on Suffolk Avenue, where McGirt and his four brothers and a sister grew up. Before, McGirt could get neither fights nor recognition. Now, everybody wants a piece of this quiet, businesslike 24-year-old. The excitement has gotten the best of 5-year-old James Anthony McGirt, who has been shadow-boxing furiously since watching the Warren fight on television, but it has left his dad drained.
"This family does everything together," said Doreatha McGirt, who has attended all of her son's fights in addition to working as a therapy aide at Kings Park Hospital. "Twenty-nine years on the night shift. But I took off a whole week to celebrate this." Once McGirt's immediate obligations are fulfilled, he and his mom will get away to visit relatives in Jacksonville, Fla. After that, he and his manager, Al Certo, and his promoter, Madison Square Garden, will go about the business of converting [Buddy McGirt], IBF champion, into Buddy McGirt, boxing superstar. It may not be easy, since the flashiest thing about the reserved McGirt is his collection of hats, which includes an African pith helmet, an assortment of berets and a black cashmere fedora. But Bobby Goodman, director of MSG boxing, thinks McGirt the fighter is a highly marketable commodity.