Matthew Macklin’s long career lived on tonight at the O2 Arena in London.
The Tipperary Tornado edged out by Blackpool’s Brian Rose in a scrappy do-or-die match-up on the Joshua-Martin undercard on Sky Box Office.
In a clash of styles that perhaps was not conducive to a classic, the busier work of Macklin handed him the win.
Macklin was the more aggressive fighter throughout, trying to rough up Rose, and showed good bodywork. However the eye-catching punches from the Englishman left him in with a shout at the final bell.
The pair traded points deductions with Macklin being docked for low blows in the tenth, and a bloodied Rose being pulled up for holding in the final stanza.
With the scoring unclear going into the twelfth, Macklin came out swinging as he fought to save his career and was rewarded on the scorecards.
In the end it was majority decision win for the Irishman, with one judge scoring it a 113-113 draw, and the remaining two judges giving the fight, perhaps a little too widely, to Macklin with tallies of 115-111.
The bout was scheduled to be for the IBF Inter-Continental middleweight title, but Macklin will not receive the strap having weighed-in above the 10lb re-hydration limit – however, judging by his reaction at the end, ‘Mack The Knife’ will care little.
Whether the 33 year old, who moves to 35(22)-6(4) with the win, will be able to make a fourth assault on World honours, remains a question for another day, but Macklin certainly proved tonight that he is always value-for-money.