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Will a world title always elude Matthew Macklin?

Four years ago, Bernard Hopkins, aged 46, became the oldest boxer to become a world champion. He defeated the reputable Jean Pascal, 18 years his junior.

Matthew Macklin, 33, is striving to finally become the middleweight champion of the world. The problem for Macklin is, unlike Hopkins, he hasn’t changed his fighting style as he’s became older, something that could cost him his dream of claiming the title.

If Macklin is to challenge once more for a world championship, his last two fights fail to provide much optimism.

Jorge Sebastian Heiland finished off a fatigued Macklin in round 10 last year in Dublin in what was a devastating night for the ex-Irish, British and European champion. It was a world title eliminator and Macklin didn’t have the stamina to be consistent over 12 rounds. He cited that he was over trained for the bout which hampered his performance.

In his last encounter in the boxing ring he, as expected, destroyed Sandor Micsko with a second round KO in Birmingham. Macklin’s opponent was no match for him but it was crucial to get back to winning ways.

Macklin is experienced in world title fights having fought Felix Sturm, Sergio Martínez and the notorious Gennady Golovkin. Unfortunately he couldn’t get the better of any of them but the ambitious Macklin now has his sights set on the current champions.

Having already faced GGG, that leaves Andy Lee (WBO), Danny Jacobs (WBA regular) and David Lemieux (IBF).

It would be a raucous occasion in Ireland if Andy Lee and Matthew Macklin clashed. But with Macklin’s brave, aggressive approach he could expose himself up to Andy Lee who throws brutal right hooks. Jorge Sebastian Heiland ended Macklin’s night with a right hook in Dublin and it may be perilous to step into the ring with Lee’s dynamite hands.

A fight with Danny Jacobs is the best Macklin can hope for. But that too would be a difficult task. Since his only loss of his career to Dmitry Pirog, Jacobs has scored nine straight KO’s.

His previous contest was against Sergio Mora and is something that could give Macklin belief. Mora, 34, responded to being knocked down early by getting up and knocking down Jacobs in round one. Round two saw Mora break his ankle and Jacobs was awarded the victory.

Daniel Jacobs is 28 years old and carries punching power. He would be a big favourite if he battles it out with Macklin. But rumours are that Jacobs wants undefeated Peter Quillin next.

Despite never succeeding at world level, Matthew Macklin has had an admirable career. He is always value for money and has entertained with his courageous style. His war with Jamie Moore (who now trains Macklin) will always be attached to Macklin’s legacy despite losing. Rounds seven, eight and nine were exhilarating. It reminisced a Ward vs Gatti spectacle. Macklin proved what a tremendous heart he has with his never give up attitude.

As much as I would love to be wrong, a world title for Macklin seems beyond his reach. He is a talented fighter which has resulted in him mixing it with the best. But as it stands, the current middleweight champions are just too good, fresh and ruthless for Matthew Macklin.

Macklin’s next fight will be held on August 28, in Puerto BanĂşs, Spain, as he attempts to gain another victory in the hopes of one day becoming the middleweight champion of the world.

Liam McInerney

Colour writer for world section of irish-boxing.com. A Sugar Ray Robinson biography inspired me to be a boxing journalist. Twitter- @_LiamMcInerney