Monday 24 October 2016

Macklin in title hunt

Mack' the Knife hopes his weight gamble pays off

Matthew Macklin
Matthew Macklin

Matthew Macklin steps into the ring tonight at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham for his first fight at light middleweight since he fought Jamie Moore in 2006.

That fight, a blistering all-action cruncher, was hailed as the fight of the year. Macklin was stopped in the tenth when, exhausted by his struggle to make weight, he ran out of steam. His move up to middleweight suited and his performances lead to three major world title fights.

Most fight fans know he was robbed of the WBA world super middleweight belt by an atrocious judging decision in Germany against Felix Sturm. Since then there were title defeats against Sergio Gabriel Martinez and Gennady Golovkin.

But undeterred Macklin pressed on, determined to claim a world title.

When he came up short in a WBC interim title shot against Jorge Sebastian Heiland last November, Macklin (33) took time to analyse the situation.

Since then he's had a couple of easy wins and has decided light middleweight could provide the best route to the world title he craves.

Jason Welborn (17-3, six KOs), his opponent tonight for the vacant WBC International super welterweight title, is coming to win. "He's had a great career but it's my time now," he says.

Macklin (33-6, 22 KOs) knows how important tonight's fight is.

"I have to win this one, simple as that," he says. "But I feel I've a new lease of life. I want to reinvent myself and I believe I can win a world title. I still have plenty to give and I'm going to be more imposing at super-welterweight. My power will be great."

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