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Macklin driven by hunger for a title

Jorge Sebastian Heiland is in Dublin with the avowed intention of knocking out Matthew Macklin in tonight's WBC International middleweight title decider at 3Arena.

On a card that's loaded with great Irish talent, it's Macklin the fans are most eager to see.

Heiland (24-4-2, 12 KOs) has twice defended the belt he won last year. The 27-year-old is bullish ahead of tonight's fight.

At 32, Macklin (31-5, 20 KOs) has more boxing miles on the clock. He's had three world title fights and remains a box office draw and a huge favourite with fight fans.

It would be a mistake for Heiland to underestimate Macklin.

"This fight is the acid test for me," says Macklin. "It's a world title eliminator and I want to give a spectacular performance."

Macklin knows a winning performances tonight at the 3Arena will put the prize he wants within his grasp. A world title.

In his last bout in September, a win against Jose Yebes in Germany, Matthew claims that, although he "couldn't get going in the fight", he was never worried. "Joe Gallagher said afterwards that I did some stuff that was world class. It was six in the evening and there was hardly anyone there. I'm really excited about this one. This is a really meaningful fight. It has a big fight feel."

"When you've been doing this for a long time, you kinda need to stay up there," explains Macklin. "You need the big-fight buzz to really perform on the night."

Macklin insist that a hunger to win a world title is driving him on. "Often when fighters are finished it's not because they're physically shot but because they lose their appetite," he says. "I definitely still have it.

"Joe Gallagher, who trains me hard, says he can see I have the appetite."


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