3 September 2010
Matthew Macklin will still fight for the European middleweight title in Birmingham on September 18 but he will now face Shalva Jomardashvili instead of the injured Darren Barker.
The title fight will now be of the vacant variety rather than a direct challenge as was originally scheduled, but Macklin and his army of fans will care little.
Indeed the Birmingham-Irishman has said that his focus remains set on regaining the title he never lost in the ring.
“I was gutted to hear that Barker had pulled out of our fight, but I’m a positive person and the main thing for me and my fans is that I’m still fighting in my home town of Birmingham,” he said.
“Frank has done a fantastic job for me and I’m fighting for the vacant European title so I will still achieve my dream of winning it in front of my fans. I can honestly say my training for the Barker fight has the best it’s ever been and I was looking forward to facing him on the night.
“I was looking to make a real statement to show who is the best in Britain and I’m confident I could have done Barker inside five rounds. Barker’s out now so he’s in the past and I’ve got to concentrate on Jomardashvili and work out a new game plan with my trainer. Like I said, the main thing for me is that I’m still fighting and I’ve got a great chance to win the European title in Birmingham.”
Ryan Rhodes withdrawal also give Manchesters Matthew Hall an unexpected opportunity on the same card to claim the European light-middleweight crown against Lukas Konecny.
The card, which will be broadcast on Sky Box Office, also features Frankie Gavin vs Michael Kelly for the vacant Irish light-welterweight championship.