By Joe Delaney, courtesy of The Daily Star
MATTHEW MACKLIN has been promised a rematch by Felix Sturm after his controversial defeat by the WBA middleweight champion on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Brummie appeared to be on the receiving end of a terrible hometown verdict when he dropped a split decision to the German in Cologne.
Former undisputed world heavy-weight champion Lennox Lewis joined in the row, claiming it was one of boxing’s worst-ever decisions.
One judge made Matthew Macklin a 115-113 winner, but two offi cials awarded the bout to Felix Sturm 116-112 after a brutal 12-round battle.
“It wasn’t a wrong decision, but it was close,” said Sturm as calls for an immediate return grew.
“It was not my most outstanding performance but, in my view, the decision was absolutely correct.
“We will defi nitely have a second fi ght. We have already agreed on it.”
Germany is notorious for bad verdicts against visiting boxers and heartbroken Macklin said after the thriller: “I was very strong, stronger than Felix, and I won, no doubt.
“I hope Felix will give me another fight, maybe in November.
“Even the German TV had me winning by four rounds. I won the fi ght by at least three rounds, no doubt. I thought I strolled the fi rst six or seven rounds.
“After the fi ght he said he would give me a rematch in November. He knows he has to because he was embarrassed on German TV.
“He wouldn’t give me a rematch if he knew he beat me.
“I was winning big and was hurting him big. Even on the rounds that were close I won them and there weren’t really many rounds he won clearly. He didn’t hurt me once and I winded him three times.
“I don’t want to sound bad, but next time I will smash him to pieces.
“I won’t leave anything to chance and he won’t be able to rob me, no chance.”
Lewis who was commentating for American TV, believes David Haye must now KO Wladimir Klitschko in their unification heavyweight title clash in Hamburg on Saturday or risk getting mugged by judges.
He added: “Highway Robbery. Macklin v Sturm was one of the worst decisions I’ve seen. Macklin won hands down.
“Macklin has nothing to be ashamed of and can hold his head high. I know what David Haye must do to walk out with the belts in Germany.”