29 October 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Irish middleweight Matthew Macklin has one eye on a World title shot going into his European middleweight title defence against Ruben Varon on December 11.
The world ranked Birmingham born fighter of Irish parentage aims to impress his way into world reckoning with victory over former world title challenger Varon at the top of the Frank Warren promoted card.
In fact the former Tipperary minor hurler, who has been linked with John Duddy and Andy Lee in recent weeks, has vowed to knock out the Spaniard en-route to 2011 world title shot.
“I’ve been at European level now for the 18 months or so,” the two-time European middleweight champion said. I’m 28 now and it is time to start cashing in when I’m at my prime.
I don’t want to sound arrogant but I believe I am good enough to compete with anyone in the world. There are some great fights to be made at middleweight, and I will take anyone as an opponent. Felix Sturm and Sebastian Sylvester would be great for me, but the one I would really love is Paul Williams.
Macklin is currently comfortably inside the top 10 with each of the world governing bodies, plans to upgrade to mandatory challenger with victory over Varon.
“I want to impress against Varon, get into a mandatory position and then fight for a world title in the next 12 months. When I was an amateur I was mentioned in the same breath as the likes of David Haye and Carl Froch. They have gone on to win world titles, and so will I.”
Meanwhile Irish super-middleweight champion Anthony Fitzgerald will get an early Christmas present in the form of a WBF Intercontinental middleweight title challenge.
The Dubliner, who will defend his Irish title against Lee Murtagh in Limerick next week, will challenge a yet to be named opponent in the Tallaght Arena on December 10 on a Dolphil show.
Patrick Hyland, Christine McMahon, McDonagh brothers JJ and Paddy and Gavin Prunty will also be in action.