By Jonny Stapleton
Sergio Martinez’s pound for pound aspirations are all that stand in the way of Matthew Macklin’s March 17 world title hopes.
The WBC Diamond middleweight champ broke his Macklin silence yesterday and told Mirror Sport a fight with the Irish fighter is a distinct possibility.
Indeed according to ‘Marvilla’ a slim chance he could face the man he deems the greatest on the planet Fylod ‘Money’ Mayweather is all that has prevented him putting pen to paper on a deal to fight ‘Mack The Knife’ in New York on St Patrick’s Day.
Martinez, who like Macklin is promoted by Lou DiBella , is third in the pound for pound ratings, but has his eyes on the number one slot meaning Macklin will have to wait to see if he has secured the biggest fight of his career.
“A fight between Macklin and myself is a real possibility at present. Macklin is a big rival and respected around the world, but in all honesty my first choice is Floyd Mayweather. My obsession is to be the pound for pound number one and I will be fighting until I achieve that. I know I will never fight Pacquiao. Mayweather is different, he is #1, the true P4P King, and everyone who wants to be the best of the world has to beat Floyd Mayweather. I want to be the best, I will fight and defeat Floyd Mayweather. If I can’t secure a fight with Mayweather I will take the fight with Macklin,” Martinez told Mirror Sport.
Macklin, who seems to have secured a fight with the best in his division at the expense of fellow Irish middleweight Andy Lee, already had the chance to win a world strap, but fell victim to a home town decision against Felix Sturm in Germany.
Former WBO and WBC champion, Martinez believes the former European champion was the victor that night. The 36 year old claims Macklin deserves to have a world title on his mantle piece, but warned the Brian Peters managed pugilist won’t be taking his.
“Macklin won the fight (with Sturm) in my opinion. He is a champion without belt. He deserves to have a belt but he won’t be getting mine. He is a great fighter, very strong, very hard and hungry. He will come to attack and destroy me, but he has to remember the calibre of fighter that will be standing in front of him.”
If the rumour mill is proved right and the fight as expected is made it will be a massive Irish occasion in New York. Madison Square Garden is set to stage the fight and Macklin could generate massive support on Paddy’s weekend.
Martinez, who also revealed he would have no problem fighting Andy Lee, certainly hopes so and rather than been deterred claims the more Irish fans in the famous venue the better he’ll perform.
“I would like to see Madison Square Garden full. It doesn’t matter if there are thousands of Irish inside. I will be best fighter if there are hundreds and I will be even better if there are thousands.”