Macklin eyeing possible Lee clash in 2016
Birmingham Irish middleweight contender Matthew Macklin returns to action in Marbella this month in the first of a three-fight plan that he hopes will lead him to World title glory. The former Irish, British and European Champion and three-time World title challenger will headline an MGM Promotions black-tie dinner event at the H10 Andalucía Plaza Hotel in Puerto Banús on August 28th with two further outings planned before the end of the year.
Macklin had given serious consideration about ‘hanging up his gloves’ following a defeat to Jorge Sebastian Heiland in Dublin last November but returned to winning ways in May with a second round stoppage win in Birmingham. Now he is looking to build on that win ahead of a fourth assault on a World title early next year and possibly in what could be another title defence by Andy Lee.
“I really want to build some momentum between now and the end of the year and get three solid wins under my belt”, said Macklin. “That will give me a great base to push for a World title shot early next year. The fight in Marbella will kick that off and then I’m looking to fight in Birmingham in October and then maybe back in Ireland before the end of the year.
“I seriously thought about retiring after the disappointment of the Heiland fight but when I looked back at it I had been in the gym all of last year. A number of fights fell through for a variety of different reasons but I had gone through long training camps for those fights and by the time the Heiland fight came around I was burned out. I felt great for three rounds and then it was like somebody pulled the plug and I really think it was a case of being over-trained and having nothing left on the night.
“It was good to get back in there in May and put the Heiland fight to bed. It was basically an exercise to get back in the gym and see how I felt, get back in the ring and get a win and it ticked all those boxes and I felt good. Now I want to stay busy and stay active in the ring as well as being in the gym. It’s mentally and physically draining being in the gym constantly and having fights fall through or not having a definite date but when you know when you’re fighting it’s really gives you that edge and drive and you can see what you are building towards.”
Has faced three of the biggest names in boxing
Having taken on three of the biggest names in the sport in world title bids against Felix Sturm, Sergio Martinez and Gennady Golovkin, Macklin believes he can finally get his hands on that elusive world title belt sometime in 2016.
“It’s the drive to get that World title that still gives me the hunger and desire. Obviously I was robbed of that with the decision in the Sturm fight, I came up just short against Martinez and in the case of Martinez and Golovkin I came up against two guys who look like they will both end up in boxing’s hall of fame.
“The middleweight division is very interesting at the moment. Obviously Glolovkin is head and shoulders above everyone else. Outside of that there are some excellent champions but I’d fancy any my chances against any of them. Boxing is like snakes and ladders and the guys that hold titles at middleweight are the perfect example of that.
“Danny Jacobs has made an amazing comeback from cancer to win the WBA title. Only a year ago Andy Lee looked to be on the verge of a career ending defeat to John Jackson when he turned it all around and then went on to win the WBO title. Then you have David Lemieux who just won the IBF title. It’s not all that long ago that he was stopped by Joachim Alcine, a guy I KO’d in a round so it’s amazing how things can turn around so quickly in boxing.
“All three of those have done brilliantly to turn their careers around to win world titles but they have also showed vulnerabilities and I’d be confident stepping into the ring with any of those guys.”
But it’s a case of first things first for Macklin though and the first hurdle en route to another World title shot comes in Marbella next month.