By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
MATT MACKLIN insists that after a nomadic career he will bring home Birmingham’s first world title next weekend.
Middleweight Macklin, 31, fights Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin for his WBA middleweight belt in Connecticut, USA, on Saturday, hoping to make it third time lucky in world title fights.
Unbeaten Golovkin, 31, has stopped 23 of his 26 victims but Macklin insists he has learned from his 11th-round defeat to Argentina’s world No.1 Sergio Martinez last year and a controversial points loss to German Felix Sturm in 2011.
Macklin said: “I should have been WBA champion two years ago when I fought Sturm but I got robbed by the judges.
“Against Sergio it was close and level on one card when I was stopped in the 11th. I am a better fighter for those experiences and it will be third time lucky.
“Gennady is accurate but I am going to hit back and I am heavy-handed.
“It is important for me to become the first world champion from Birmingham. There have been some great fighters from there over the years.
“Pat Cowdell fought for the world featherweight title and Robert McCracken for the middleweight crown.
“Apart from my first 12 months as a pro, I have been on the road. I am a proper nomad.
“But to be the first man born in Birmingham to win a world title would be tremendous.”
Fellow Brummie Frankie Gavin hopes beating Manchester challenger Denton Vassell on Friday will propel him to world title contention.
Unbeaten British welterweight champion Gavin, 27, said: “There’s no race in it to become Birmingham’s world champion and I hope Matt does it, I think he can.
“I’ve got to beat Vassell to get where I want to be and I think I will be too quick and too classy for him.
“If he comes with his usual style I will win clear.
“Winning this fight could put whoever the victor is up to world level.”