by David P. Greisman
Matthew Macklin has only fought one round in the past year, and though he would have preferred having one more bout before challenging middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, he wasn’t going to refuse this shot.
“Initially I wanted to fight in June and maybe fight Golovkin in September, but at the end of the day the opportunity was there,” Macklin said on a June 19 media conference call in advance of the bout, which is taking place on June 29 at MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.
“It wasn’t necessarily going to be there at the end of the year,” he said. “At this stage in my career, I’m not in a position to turn down world title opportunities.”
Macklin, 31, is 29-4 with 20 knockouts and is coming off a first-round knockout of Joachim Alcine in September 2012. Before that came his March 2012 loss to Sergio Martinez (an 11th-round stoppage) and a controversial split decision defeat against Felix Sturm in June 2011.
“Third time lucky,” Macklin said.
Golovkin, a 31-year-old who holds the World Boxing Association belt, is undefeated at 26-0, with all but three of those wins coming by knockout. His last three bouts saw him stop Grzegorz Proksa in September 2012, batter Gabriel Rosado en route to a technical knockout win this past January, and score a one-punch knockout of Nobuhiro Ishida in March.
“I’m the underdog going in. That’s the fact of the matter, but that’s the way I like it,” Macklin said. “I’m the challenger, he’s the champion. I’m going to rip the title away from him.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org