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Macklin reveals how close he came to training Joe Ward and bringing him to Matchroom

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Matthew Macklin has revealed he was very close to becoming Joe Ward’s trainer and manager.

One of Ireland’s most decorated and talented amateurs has ditched the vest this year and his move to the pro game was big news.

The Moate BC graduate first revealed he was turning over under the guidance of management outfit Times Square Boxing and subsequently revealed he would be promoted by Lou Di Bella and Ken Casey.

Training-wise the 25-year-old, who suffered a nightmare debut in Madison Square Garden early this month when he had to pull out in the second round after dislocating his knee, has been working with one of ‘Mack The Knife’s’ old coaches, Buddy McGirt.

However, things could have been different, as the former world title challenger revealed he had a deal in place to sign Ward. The former Irish, British and European champion revealed the Westmeath man was close to relocating to England to train under Macklin – and had a promotional offer from Matchroom on the table.

“I was going to train and manage Joe Ward,” Macklin explained on his podcast Macklin’s Take.

“At that time with Joe, I’d probably been working hard on it from around the Bellew-Usyk fight. I had a good deal on the table with Eddie Hearn. I was going to train him and manage him and he was going to come over to Birmingham.”

Why the link up never materialized remains somewhat unclear, but Macklin, who had Andy Lee on this week’s show to talk all things training and managing, suggested the fighter may have looked for improvements to be made to the contract offered by Matchroom.

“I had everything sorted and then there were a few things… I was starting to get a few negative thoughts about it… there were a few signs we’ll say and then when Joe wanted to move the goal posts after I’d agreed a deal with Eddie, I just saw that as a sign.”

The respected Sky Sports pundit, who has offered to train Jason Quigley in the past, claims he is now content working as an analyst, but did hint he may look into joining Andy Lee as a coach and manager in the future.

“I am working every week with Sky, I am very busy, I am getting my fix out of boxing. I just thought do I want to be in America with Joe three times a year, he’ll seven times in his first year, I’d love the journey – and I like Joe, he is a talent and all going well he can probably go all the way – and I just thought it would be a massive commitment.”


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com