Isaac Chilemba was supposed to make his HBO debut on Saturday night, but that fell apart when Zsolt Erdei was forced out of the date with a rib injury suffered in training. But Chilemba will still fight, and he'll have a new face in his corner, as he's hired veteran trainer Buddy McGirt to guide him in the ring.
Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KO) has become a solid contender at 175 pounds, but it's a weight division in a bit of a flux past the top few fighters, with plenty of guys standing at about the same level. His last fight, a win over Edison Miranda in February, was fine but showed room for improvement, and the 25-year-old has taken a step toward that.
"Buddy McGirt is an accomplished trainer and I'm excited to be working with him," said Chilemba. "He brings a lot of world championship experience to the ring and I know I can learn some new tricks from him. We started training in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and everything is going smooth."
McGirt has certainly been around the block more than a few times, and like all trainers, has had his successes and failures. For his part, he sees things he can fine-tune with Chilemba, but believes the talent is true.
"Chilemba is a fantastic fighter and you can see that the talent is here," stated McGirt. "I don't really need to change much with Isaac's style, just need to brush up on a couple of things. He's working hard and everything is coming together nicely. "
Chilemba will face journeyman Rayco Saunders (22-16-2, 9 KO) in a stay-busy fight on the off-TV undercard of the HBO Boxing After Dark show in Connecticut on Saturday.