By Edward Chaykovsky
Middleweight Matthew Macklin is ready for Saturday's challenge in Cologne, Germany, when he challenges Felix Sturm for the WBA middleweight title. Beating Sturm in his backyard will not be easy, says Macklin. He plans to start fast, start strong and break Sturm down for a late rounds stoppage victory. Sturm has been undefeated for the last five years and only lost twice in his career.
I can't be nicking rounds out here, I've got to be winning them decisively," Macklin told BBC WM. "I've got to be the boss in there but I believe I have the capabilities to stop Sturm late on in the fight."
"He's probably the dominant force in the division. He lost a very disputed decision to Oscar De La Hoya in 2004 and never got a rematch but came back and won a different version of the world title anyway, he really is top-notch."
Macklin wants to win the title for Birmingham and the local fans in the area.
"I'll be Birmingham's first-ever world champion, it'll be great for the area," Macklin said. "This is it and it would mean the world. I was very happy to win the European title and very proud when I knocked out Wayne Elcock for the British title but I've always felt I had the ability to be a world champion."