August 17 Jonny Stapleton
Matthew Macklin will fight Middleweight number one Sergio Martinez on St Patrick Day in Madison Square garden provided both fighters come through their next tests unscathed.
Macklin will get the chance to become the best middleweight in the world if the Argentine makes a successful defence of his WBC Diamond belt against Darren Barker and the Irish star defeats a yet to be confirmed opponent in New York in November.
Both fighters are now signed to American promoter Lou Dibella and the deal for a fight that could catapulted the Tipperary Tornado in potential pound for pound contention has been made in principle.
“It looks like I am going to fight in November in New York possibly against Ronald Hearns. If I win that then I am fighting Sergio Martinez on Paddy’s Day Madison Square Garden,” told www.irish-boxing.com.
“Martinez gives me the chance to become number one. They said Sturm was number two in the world and I beat him, everyone knows that. The Martinez fight is something special.”
Surprisingly the former British and European champion secured the biggest fight possible of the back of a loss in Germany.
It turns out being robbed in his WBA title fight with Felix Sturm was the best result possible for the Brian Peters managed fighter.
Despite not buckling the belt around his waist Macklin is deemed champion worthy across the world and is not tied down to rematch clauses.
Even Sturm is desperate for a piece of Macklin action. The German champ is trying to goad ‘Mack the Knife’ into a rematch, but Macklin isn’t keen on returning to the scene of the crime.
“Now I have the opportunity to fight Martinez I don’t need Felix and why would I cheapen myself. It is still a fight I would love, but he is just making a fool out of himself. I don’t think he really wants that fight. He is saying I am running scared, but he wants 35 percent of my next three fights if I beat him. Now if her really thinks he can beat me why does he want those options? If I fought him and took the title it would make my fight with Martinez even bigger, but he needs to come up with a decent offer.”
If Macklin does manage to claim victory abroad and get his hands on a world strap he wants to fulfil his dream of defending it in Ireland.
And with Andy Lee, who fights Bryan Vera on the under card of Martinez Barker, also in the Lou DiBella stable we could see a massive all Ireland world title fight in 2012.
“I remember Bernard Dunne won the world title the same day Ireland won the grand slam and I remember saying that night I want to fight in a world title fight in Ireland. I definitely want to win a world title and defend it here. Andy Lee and myself is another fight Lou has talked about. That is fight that makes more sense to have in Ireland with a world title on the line.”