Macklin to go from Under Dog to Top Dog

JUNE 20 Jonny Stapleton

Matthew Macklin is revelling in his underdog status, as he prepares to unbuckle the WBA middleweight title from around the waist of German Felix Sturm this Saturday night.

The challenger is adamant when the chips are down his performance level rise and is confident he can shock Sturm by ensuring the champions tenth defence isn’t a successful one.

The 28 year old Irish middleweight claims his career best performances have come when he has been expecting to struggle and he is adamant the world will see the him at his best in the biggest fight of his life in Cologne this weekend.

The former European champion isn’t worried the majority

 are tipping long reigning champion for victory in a fight that will be broadcast in Times Square.

The Birmingham born Irish man explained his performances often mirror the quality of his opponent stressing he will be world class at world level in Ireland’s fourth world title fight of 2011.

Speaking as the pair held a final press conference b

efore Saturday’s mega bout the former Irish and British champion told the world’s press he will go from under dog to top dog.

“ I always going to be an under dog for this fight. This is my first world title fight. Felix has been in plenty and has been competing at this level for years. But my best performances have come when I am up against it. In a 50/50 fight you will see the best of me. Sometimes when fighting opponents I should have beaten easily I haven’t been at my best. I allow my performance to drop. I can assure you that won’t happen this weekend. I have trained hard and I am going to be at my best ever. I am ready to shock the world.”

Always Coaching:Joe Gallagher and Matthew Macklin in Germany today

Despite comfortably sporting the underdog tag, the former Tipperary underage hurler, was keen to point out he deserved his shot at world glory.

The Brian Peter’s managed middleweight pointed to a CV of tough fights as proof he deserves to mix it with the fighter, who American’s remember as the man that was robbed against Oscar De La Hoya.

“I am experience too. I have been Irish, British and European champion. I have fought some good names and been in some hard fights. I have been unlucky in securing big fights and I am here on merit. I am really confident ahead of this fight and I can’t wait to get in the ring now. I have to be at my best, but that is exactly the level I plan to be at.”

Macklin, who can bring coach Joe Gallagher’s winning run to 50 fights if he defeats Sturm, has cut a confident figure over the last few weeks and there is a real belief he can become Ireland’s first world champ since Bernard Dunne.

However, that self belief hasn’t turned to arrogance and he did take time to highlight what he will have to look out for on Saturday.

“Felix is obviously very experienced. He may not always be a stellar performer but he always finds a way to win. When we watched him his jab, left hook and defence jumped out at us. If he has too brawl he proved he can do that too, but I really believe he is beatable. People say I have to get a knock out in Germany to get a draw, but I don’t think that is the case. I am sure I will get a fair craic of the whip.”



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