Lee Dublin date beckons for Macklin?
Birmingham Irish middleweight boxer Matthew Macklin is facing one of the most crucial fights in his professional career this Saturday December 7th. He faces a ‘must-win’ bout against replacement opponent Lamar Russ, who is undefeated after fourteen bouts, in a scheduled 10 round bout on the undercard of the HBO televised Guillermo Rigondeaux v Joseph Agbeko card at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. Matthew Macklin had been scheduled to meet the tall hard-punching Willie Nelson but a training injury has forced him to withdraw.
Chance to rebuild career Macklin has really not had the best of luck in the past two years following a very controversial loss to Felix Sturm in Cologne followed by a brave battle against Sergio Martinez on St. Patrick’s Day in Madison Square Garden last year. But his stoppage defeat to Gennady Golovkin earlier this year in June even left many questions about thirty-one year old Matthew’s future world title potential. Matthew therefore needs to rebuild his career with an impressive performance and victory over Lamar Russ. “He’s a good prospect with seven knock-outs out of fourteen wins,” said Matthew. It therefore looks like Russ is going to put Macklin in a position where he’s going to have to let his hands go early in this fight or else he’ll end up getting taken out again in lightning fashion like he did in his last fight against Golovkin. In that loss Matthew was stopped by a body shot in the 3rd round. Russ is a good body puncher, and he’ll have no doubt watched Macklin’s fight against Golovkin and will be looking to replicate what Golovkin was able to do five months ago.
St. Patrick’s Day date with Andy Lee?
So a loss in Atlantic City for Macklin could spell the end of the road for him, at least in terms of him being a world class fighter. While Matthew can still be a decent European and domestic level middleweight, but if he can’t overcome Nelson, then there’s probably no reason for him to keep fighting at the world level. A defeat would also rule out the prospect of a much anticipated All-Irish ‘match-up’ with Andy Lee next Spring in Dublin. In order for that to happen though an Irish and or UK TV backer would be required. Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn, who has an exclusive boxing deal with Sky is therefore hoping to use his powers to bring the broadcaster on board for a Dublin date possibly on St. Patrick’s Day. According to Hearn discussions have already begun ahead of the Atlantic City result on December 7th. “We have had some initial discussions over the past few weeks and I’m hopeful that we can make progress and we’re looking at St. Patrick’s Day or late March,” said Hearn. The incentive could therefore not be greater for Matthew Macklin because even if he never boxes for another world title a clash with Lee would surely guarantee him probably the biggest pay day in his professional career.