By Phil D. Jay
Amidst a hotbed of British and Irish talent hoping to make it to world level, Matthew Macklin’s confirmation that he will meet WBA “super” middleweight champion Felix Sturm is another boost for Irish boxing and along with Nathan Cleverly and Ryan Rhodes’s world title shots, could be followed by more in the near future.
The UK already has four world title holders in Amir Khan, who is WBA light-welterweight champion, David Haye, the WBA heavyweight champion, Carl Froch, who holds the WBC super-middleweight title and Ricky Burns, the WBO super-featherweight champion and will be looking to make it six by the middle of the summer.
Cleverly, 24, faces Juergen Braehmer for the WBO light-heavyweight title on May 21st at the O2 Arena in London, then just four weeks later, Ryan Rhodes, 34, travels to Mexico to face new WBC 154lb champion Saul Alvarez, hot on the heels of Matthew Hatton’s challenge against the Mexican superstar.
28 year-old Macklin will travel to the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, to meet Felix Sturm on June 25, a week earlier than first announced, for his date with destiny and after Willie Casey and Paul McCloskey came up short recently, will be looking to give the Irish fans something to cheer.
Add to that the likes of John Murray, Andy Lee, Kell Brook, Dereck Chisora, Ola Afolabi, Ashley Theophane, Andy Murray, Tyson Fury, Kevin Mitchell, James DeGale, George Groves, Patrick Hyland, Gavin Rees and Gary Buckland, there could be a lot more to come in the next twelve months from the British and Irish contingent.
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net