2 July 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Matthew Macklin has turned his back on an IBF World Title eliminator in a bid to regain the European Middleweight Title on a blockbuster show in the LG Arena in Birmingham on September 18.
The IBF warned the Irish fighter, that if he challenged Darren Barker for the EBU belt he vacated earlier in the year, they wouldnt allow him to fight for the right to become their mandatory middleweight challenger.
World-rated Macklin remains confident, however, that he can secure a coveted world title shot after he dispatches Barker on a Frank Warren show with eight other titles at stake.
The former Tipperary minor hurler also stated that once he defeats Barker on what is billed as an action packed recession busting show he would offer Andy Lee a shot at the continental strap.
I am not too sure what happened with the IBF, the talented teak-tough boxer told the Irish Mirror.
My manager Brian Peters is dealing with that now, but regardless I am confident of getting a world title shot. It is just a matter of time to be honest. I am in the top 10 in all the world governing bodies and when I beat Barker, who is undefeated, I should move up the rankings again, Macklin added, before discussing his next opponent.
There is talk that I avoided Barker at British level before but thats nonsense. Darren isnt proven at my level yet. He has had a very easy route to the European title. I dont understand why he got a shot ahead of Andy Lee. Also if you look at our mutual opponents I did a better job on all of them than Darren. He is unbeaten and a decent fighter but I am confident of winning.
I am delighted to get this fight. It is one all of Europe wants to see. I vacated the belt because of injury and I am looking forward to getting it back, Matthew enthused.
Andy Lee, who has amateur previous with Barker, has been linked with the London middleweight but it now seems Macklin has got in first. However, the Birmingham-born Irish pugilist claims he would fight Lee next.
There is a possibility of Andy Lee and myself after this one and a big European title fight in Ireland.