By Jake Donovan
The origins of the West Midlands city of Birmingham date back to the 7th century. Among its population of more than a million exists just one fighter in history to claim a major boxing championship – Richie Woodhall, who won a super middleweight belt in the late 1990’s.
Matthew Macklin aims to become the second Birmingham fighter to hit boxing paydirt, as he faces current middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin next Saturday at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The bout marks his third straight HBO-affiliated appearance, but it was prior to his gaining stateside recognition in which he felt his name should have already been etched in the record books.
“I should be world champion already,” Macklin insists, a reference to his landing on the wrong side of a horribly scored decision in favor of then-titlist Felix Sturm. The June ’11 title fight in Germany was regarded as one of the worst decisions of that calendar year, ending an 11-fight win streak for Macklin and also denying him what would rate as a career-best win.
A second shot at glory came in the form of his challenge of lineal middleweight king Sergio Martinez last March. Macklin scored a knockdown midway through the fight and was well on his way to a major upset before running out of ammo, suffering an 11th round stoppage in their St. Patrick’s Day thriller in New York City.
Macklin (29-4, 20KO) has since returned to the win column, scoring a 1st round knockout of Joachime Alcine last September in Las Vegas. Next Saturday’s showdown with Golovkin (26-0, 23KO) will mark his third straight stateside appearance and fifth overall fight on this side of the pond.
It also serves as his third attempt at a major middleweight title. The oddmakers suggest the HBO-televised bout will mark three strikes and out, while Macklin insists the third time will be a charm.
“He’s in with a guy who is going to hit him back,” Macklin promises. “I’m definitely going to produce the performance of my career on (June) 29th.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox