By Phil D. Jay
Former European middleweight champion Matthew Macklin is set to return in September after his eleventh round defeat to Sergio Martinez following the breakdown in talks to fight compatriot Martin Murray.
Macklin told WBN that he favors a fight in the US this fall, rather than a domestic meeting with Murray and is eyeing a world title shot at the back end of the year with a first victory on American soil.
“There were talks between a member of my team and Murray’s manager and we were close to agreeing a deal, but to be honest, it’s not so much about the money, but more the fact that Lou (Dibella, Macklin’s Promoter) and Brian (Peters, his manager) want me to fight in New York this September on American TV to keep the momentum going there as that’s where my next world title shot will take place,” Macklin told World Boxing News.
“Although I lost to Sergio Martinez, I was ahead on all three cards after eight rounds and three up on one going into the 11th, which HBO were very impressed with. They were pleased with the fight and my performance in it and the fact that the theatre at Madison Square Garden was sold out keeps my name out there in America.”
The 30 year-old is still highly regarded in the middleweight division, despite suffering two losses at world level and hopes to be considered for the winner of the winner of the upcoming unifications between old foe Felix Sturm and Daniel Geale and Gennady Golovkin’s bout with Dmitry Pirog.
“Brian and Lou are very confident that I will be in pole position to face one of the champions at the end of the year and that a fight in America on US TV is the best way to ensure that.
“I think I’ve proven in the past that I’ll fight anyone and fear no one. You just have look at my record to see that. Personally, I wanted the Murray fight, but my team want me fighting in America.
“I’m sure the fight will happen soon down the line and it'll be great for the fight scene in Britain. I am back running and getting some rounds in with shadow boxing and on the bag and will team up with Buddy McGirt as soon as we get a definite date and opponent, which should be soon,” said Macklin.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net