Birmingham Irish Boxer’s Ireland Ring Return
Irish Middleweight Matthew Macklin begins his professional boxing career reinvention with a return to Dublin on August 30. The ‘hurling-mad’ Birmingham-born boxer with Tipperary and Roscommon parentage returns to the ring at a sold-out National Stadium where he will meet WBC International champion – Jorge Sebastien Heiland hoping to earn another step on the way to an opportunity to box for a world title against the Puerto Rican holder – Miguel Cotta. That step looks likely to be against either Martin Murray or possibly an All-Irish clash against Andy Lee in Dublin’s O2 Arena this November.
Just over a year since his shattering knock-out defeat to Gennady Golovkin in Mashantucket, Connecticut in his third world title bid, number 9 ranked Matthew Macklin, who is now promoted by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, is within a bout or possibly two bouts of a fourth world title attempt. His August 30 appearance, which will be his first fight since his points victory over Lamar Russ in Atlantic City last December, is also his first fight on Irish soil since his points victory over Uruguayan Rafael Sosa Pintos, also at the National Stadium, in December 2009.
Missed fighting at home
“For the last few years now all my fights have been in the US and while it’s been great having big fights in New York and Las Vegas I’ve definitely missed fighting at home,” said Macklin who added: “There’s a huge appetite among boxing fans to see big time boxing back in Dublin and there’s no atmosphere in the world like an Irish fight night. I know that Eddie can deliver the big fights for me in Dublin so it’s a very exciting time for me.”
Billed as a title eliminator, Macklin’s return to Ireland will headline a very attractive bill at the National Stadium including London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua MBE and a local grudge fight between Anthony Fitzgerald and Spike O’Sullivan.
“It’s great to have an eliminator to put me straight back in the frame for another World title fight. Heiland is rated number four with the WBC so I’m sure he will be coming to Ireland with his own World title ambitions. It’s a must win fight for me and it doesn’t matter what he brings to the ring on August 30, he won’t be beating me,” said Macklin.
Besides Anthony Joshua’s first appearance on Irish soil against Yaroslav Zavorotnyi from the Ukraine, promoter Eddie Hearn also brings a star-studded cast of fighters to Dublin for Matchroom Boxing’s first show it the city. Commonwealth Super Flyweight champion Kal Yafai defends his title against Belfast’s Luke Wilton. Dublin’s Luke Keeler and Declan Geraghty also appear on the bill with Hearn set to announce more names for the show soon, as he launches a new era for Matchroom Boxing in the great city of Dublin.
“I can’t wait for our first show in Dublin, the fans are in for a real treat,” said Hearn. “It’s a stacked card with Matthew in a hugely important fight that puts him in a great position to challenge for another World title,” said Hearn at the launch of what is already a sold-out event!
Full details of the evening were revealed in Croke Park on Wednesday 30 July where Matthew Macklin was sporting a Tipperary jersey in the company of his friend and Tipperary hurling star – Lar Corbett who is looking forward to an All-Ireland hurling semi-final clash with Cork at the same venue on 17 August.
But former Tipperary underage star Matthew Macklin has also made no secret of his desire to one day return to Croke Park for what would be the first major fight in GAA headquarters since the famous Muhammad Ali – Al ‘Blue’ Lewis bout on 19 July 1972. With a new chapter about to begin in his professional career later this month, thirty-two year old Macklin might only be three to four fights away from what would be an unforgettable Irish sporting occasion on the Jones Road.
And should everything go to plan for Matthew Macklin that is where promoter Eddie Hearn would like to see the Birmingham-Irish fighter box for his next attempt at a world title.
“We are here because this is the end goal to being a show to Croke Park,” confirmed Hearn.