By Francisco Salazar
German composers Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht composed a song called “Mack the Knife” back in the mid 1920’s.
The opening lyrics to the song go like this:
Oh, the Shark has pretty teeth, dear
And he shows ‘em, pearly white
Just a jack knife has Macheath, dear
And he keeps it, keeps it way out of sight
Middleweight contender Matthew Macklin is never shy to show his “teeth” in the ring, especially with having fought some of the best fighters in his division in the last couple of years.
Macklin was screwed out of a decision against Felix Sturm (according to boxing experts), had Sergio Martinez on the canvas before getting stopped, and destroying former world title holder Joachim Alcine in one round in his last fight in September.
Now he will face Gennady Golovkin, a fighter who has been looked at as a myth, savior, and destroyer to many people in the boxing world.
While a majority of fight fans and media think Macklin will give a good account of himself against Golovkin, Macklin does not see it that way.
“I’m going to take him to the depths of hell and take the fight to him.”
Golovkin will defend his world title belt against Macklin on Saturday night at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, CT. The bout will headline an HBO three-fight telecast.
When that shark bites with his teeth, dear
Scarlet billows, they begin to spread
Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) has shown he belongs at or near the top of the middleweight division. His aggressive and hard-hitting style has made some people in boxing believe he could be the first to defeat the popular fighter from Kazakhstan.
However, will what worked for Macklin during certain sequences against Martinez and Sturm be enough to beat Golovkin?
According to Macklin, he knows he has the style to defeat Golovkin.
“I’ve been ready for this fight when it was expected to take place in May,” Macklin told Boxingscene.com over the phone on Tuesday night. “I’ve been in the gym since October and even then I was in decent shape.”
“I believe my fight against Golovkin is stylistically easier for me than when I fought Sergio. He’s there to be hit. Our styles mesh well to produce fireworks. Mentally and physically, I feel great for this fight.”
Those are bolds words from a fighter facing someone who has stopped his 13 opponents in a row. Golovkin’s knockout of Nobuhiro Ishida was brutal, considering Ishida had never been knocked out in his career.
Macklin pointed out the reason why Golovkin has looked strong or powerful in recent fights has been the level of opposition he has fought. In the meantime, Macklin was facing the best at 160 pounds.
“He’s mostly fought fighters from 154 pounds,” said Macklin, who is promoted by Lou DiBella. “He’s dangerous in the opening rounds and he looks good early on. But he hasn’t been into the later rounds like I have. I have fought those 12 hard rounds. I’m wary of his power, but I’m ready for whatever he wants to bring for 12 rounds.”
The question is should the fight go 12 rounds. Macklin may have the power that Golovkin has to be wary of also.
Or there could be that drive on the part of Macklin to want to be the first to defeat Golovkin. Not to say Macklin was not up for wanting to beat Sturm or Martinez, but because of the hype and opportunity this fight presents, Macklin has gone all in.
“Before the Sturm fight, I felt like I hit a plateau. My life has been boxing and it is important, but I felt like I was struggling, even before my fight against Sergio. I felt something was missing. Before the Sergio fight, about two-three weeks prior, I had skinned the knuckle of my left hand.”
“I have this sense and feeling of this is where I should be. I’m more excited about this fight than I was for Sergio Martinez. I feel more confident and I’m ready for what will happen on Saturday night. I feel more self-assured about what I will do in the fight.”
Call it redemption or a rebirth for Macklin, but Saturday night could not come for the fighter from Birmingham, in the United Kingdom.
Macklin is hoping to seize the opportunity of becoming the guy at 160 pounds. Beating Golovkin would give him that claim and set himself up for more lucrative bouts.
Just as he showed in the Martinez fight, he lives to fight and fights to live. He’s never in a bad fight and those in boxing agree Golovkin-Macklin could be a fight of the year candidate.
Only thing is Macklin sees himself victorious. Maybe that is what the ending to the “Mack the Knife” means to him.
Yeah he's bad, mercy mercy
Yeah he's badder than old Leroy Brown
You better lock your door, and call the law
Because Macheath's, that bum,
He's back in town.