Macklin not giving up on world title dream

By Jonny Stapleton
The Óle Óle Brigade made a welcome return to New York last Saturday night, but unfortunately for the large and vocal Madison Square Garden Irish contingent Matthew Macklin couldn’t emulate Paul McGrath and co.’s 1994 World Cup Giant Stadium giant killing heroics.
Macklin gave Sergio Martinez a fight, but the greatest middleweight on the planet turned it on in the championship rounds and after twice sending the Irish middleweight to the canvas in the penultimate stanza left Buddy McGrit with no option than to pull him out of the world title fight.

The former two time European champion may have just fell short of Pound for Pound level, but Mack The Knife certainly proved he could cut it at world level and he is adamant he won’t stop until he wins a world title.

“My corner probably saved me for another day and I definitely have a world title in me. I got robbed in Germany and I fought one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world tonight and came off second best, but I will improve again and I am not going to stop until I win a world title,” a bruised Macklin claimed after the fight.

“I think I proved tonight where I belong and that’s in the top two or three middleweights in the world. I don’t remember anyone else giving Sergio a better fight. And also I think, in the Darren Barker fight, he didn’t look like the real Martinez. At the weigh-in, he looked in shape for me. I proved a point tonight. I fought the Sergio at his best and he only pulled ahead of me in the 10th and 11th rounds.

Macklin promised fistic war going into his clash with the third best fighter in the world, but it was more chess than Call of Duty in the mega clash, boxing off the jab and using his brain rather than his renowned brawn.

It paid dividends early on and before the ill fated 11th round he had scored a knock down, was three rounds ahead on one judges score card and in the opinion of the the other two judges was just one behind.

The Lou DiBella promoted fighter, however felt he was trailing by a few points as the fight drew to a close and as a result began to take the kind of chances the Argentine loves to punish.

Macklin could have played it safe and finished out the fight but is the kind of fighter that comes to win and not just to survive.

“I felt I was a little behind coming into the last couple of rounds as a result I probably took chances. I could have played it safer and maybe survived, but I am not one for surviving. If you lose you lose be it by knock out or by points. I can walk down the street with my head held high knowing I did everything possible to win.”

Irish heavyweight Thomas Hardwick and light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan ensured there was something for Irish fans to cheer on St Patrick’s Day, as both registered wins.

Former St Vincent’s footballer, Hardwick registered a

four-round unanimous decision win over TJ Gibson, whilst Monaghan dominated Eric Watkins to win a lopsided six-round decision 60-54, 59-55 and 59-55.


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