Macklin’s Dublin Date with Destiny

Dublin December 2009: Matthew Macklin will be hoping to have his hand raised again on November 15 in order to set up another possible world title challenge in 2015.

Dublin December 2009: Matthew Macklin will be hoping to have his hand raised again on November 15 in order to set up another possible world title challenge in 2015.

Birmingham Irish middleweight Matthew Macklin believes he could challenge WBC Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto next if he can see off Jorge Sebastian Heiland at The 3Arena in Dublin on Saturday November 15. Macklin meets WBC International champion Heiland in an eliminator for Cotto’s crown as big time boxing returns to Ireland’s capital, with the winner gunning for Perto Rican Cotto who ripped the title from Sergio Martinez. Macklin has already met Martinez in a memorable St. Patrick’s Day clash in 2012.

But for now Macklin is firmly focused on the dangerous Argentine he faces in Dublin, but admits that the serious possibility of challenging Cotto has him dreaming of a return to the Big Apple or even an outdoor spectacular in Dublin.

“Cotto is such a big draw in New York City at Madison Square Garden, but if you can do 60,000 people at Croke Park then the economics of the fight change,” said Macklin. “If the fight captures the imagination and sells out a stadium, you can bring anyone, anywhere. That’s the dream.

“Challenging Cotto in New York would be an incredible experience – to face someone of his stature there. But that’s a lot of wins to put together first.”

Lee and Macklin can also happen in 2015

But if Macklin can see off Heiland then his interest in Irish rival Andy Lee’s clash with Matt Korobov for the vacant WBO belt in December is also sure to heighten. Lee travels to Las Vegas to tackle the unbeaten Russian and Macklin believes the Limerick man can be a real match for the holder.

“I think Andy has got a good chance,” said Macklin. “Styles make fights and Korobov is a technical counter-punching southpaw, he’ll give Andy room and time and Andy performs better if he’s allowed that, he’s a class act. If he can win that then me and Andy fighting for the World title is massive. It’s a huge fight anyway but a World title is that key element. I’ll be rooting for him for selfish reasons but also because he’s flying the flag for Irish boxing too and he’s a good lad, so I hope he does the business for himself and also as it sets up a potential fight for us.”

Macklin tops a great bill in the Irish capital with a pair of grudge matches between Michael Sweeney and Ian Tims at Cruiserweight and Gary O’Sullivan and Anthony Fitzgerald at Middleweight, Featherweight contenders Patrick Hyland and John Simpson target British, European and Commonwealth champion Josh Warrington after their clash, there’s a first hometown fight for former Irish Olympic amateur stars John Joe Nevin and Jason Quigley, while unbeaten Dubliners Declan Geraghty and Luke Keeler both fight in their seventh fights and exciting Stourbridge welterweight Sam Eggington is also on one of the most exciting nights in Irish boxing in recent years. It is also five years since Matthew Macklin fought Uruguayan Pintos in a similar title eliminator and is looking forward to being part of big time Irish professional boxing once again.

Tickets for the blockbuster night are on sale now priced at €30, €50 and €80 from The 3Arena at www.3arena.ie and on 0818 719 300 (R.O.I) and 0844 8472 455 (UK and NI). VIP tickets priced €150 are exclusively available from Matchroom Boxing at www.MatchroomBoxing.com and on 01277 359900.