Ibrahim Harb – Birmingham
Game Irishman Matthew Macklin has reiterated his desire to box lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in 2012. The Irishman, formerly based in Birmingham, England but now fighting out of New York City, stated that Maravilla’s performance against Darren Barker was substandard and if he fought that way against him, then the Argentine would get knocked out. Macklin also commented on St Patrick’s Day and the city of New York.
“I’m enjoying life in New York,” Mack the Knife said of the Big Apple. “I felt it was important to move here so that I can build a fan base if I am going to fight here on a regular basis. I’m determined to give the city and the huge Irish community here a fighter to be proud of.”
Despite suffering the third loss of his professional career in June, when he challenged Felix Sturm for the WBA version of the world middleweight championship in Germany, Macklin (28-3-0, 19ko) enhanced both his reputation and international profile due to the manner in which he took the fight to a long-reigning titlist.
Macklin lost a split decision in a tight contest but has put the defeat behind him and is looking toward the future now that he is with one of the best middleweight representatives in world boxing – Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment.
Amongst DiBella’s stable of fighters who campaign between 154lbs and 168lbs are: Deandre Latimore (super welterweight), Ronald Hearns (middleweight), Peter Manfredo Jr (middleweight), Brian Vera (middleweight), Edwin Rodriguez (super middleweight) and Allan Green (super middleweight), however, it is the consensus number one 160lb prizefighter in the world – Martinez – who Macklin most wants to test himself against as he believes, contrary to popular opinion, that the examination would not be too arduous.
“I’ve proved throughout my career that the bigger the challenge and the bigger the stage the better I perform, and there’s no bigger stage than fighting a guy considered to be among the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, in the Mecca of boxing [Madison Square Garden, New York City]. Being in a massive world title fight at the Garden is the stuff every boxer dreams of and it’s close to becoming a reality for me now. The fact that it will be on St. Patrick’s Day is just the icing on the cake.”
Regarding Martinez, Macklin deemed the difference in his and Sergio’s physique could be a pivotal factor in the prospective fight: “I have a lot of respect for Martinez,” he said. “What he’s done after taking up boxing so late is remarkable, but he’s really a natural super welterweight and I’m a big, strong middleweight.
“I believe that my size, strength and power will be too much for him,” added Macklin before musing on Martinez’s most recent bout with Barker, of London. “I think Darren Barker did better than people expected but I also think that Sergio underperformed that night.
“Maybe subconsciously he thought he was in for an easy night against Barker and wasn’t at his best because of that. On that performance, he was lucky he wasn’t in the ring with me because I would have knocked him out. He’ll have to up his game tenfold if he wants to hear the final bell against me, but I would expect him to and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I want to beat Sergio Martinez at his very best, with no excuses,” Macklin concluded.