By Shaun Brown
Contrary to some Internet rumors, middleweight Matthew Macklin, 28-4 (19), is not in the running to face WBA "regular" middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on August 25th.
Original opponent, Dmitry Pirog, pulled out on Thursday due to a back injury leaving every middleweight and his dog to be linked with facing Golovkin.
“I wouldn’t be 100% ready to face Golovkin with just seven weeks notice anyway,” Macklin told BoxingScene.
“I saw a few tweets from people saying I might be fighting Gennady but I haven’t heard a thing from anyone, no-one’s contacted me. I’m only interested in getting back to winning ways against Joachim Alcine on September 15.”
Macklin’s 33rd contest will be part of an undercard to the much anticipated showdown between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Sergio Martinez in Las Vegas.
Having had two unsuccessful back-to-back world title attempts, Macklin does not want to leave anything to chance if and when that third shot presents itself.
“I had a few niggles in the camp for Martinez and sure you could cut corners just to get yourself another title shot, but I’m not prepared to do that. At this short notice the reward is great but so is the risk.”
Despite Pirog’s withdrawal, the party at 160lbs has not been ruined. Along with Chavez-Martinez, fans also have a unification fight between Daniel Geale and Felix Sturm to look forward to. Throw in Macklin’s comeback plus a host of other strong contenders and you soon have a dish for a division that is near the top of boxing’s menu list.
“Right now the middleweight division is one of if not the strongest division in boxing right now,” Macklin enthused.
“There are four to five top guys, including myself and then there’s so much depth after that. It’s fantastic to be a part of and it’s great for the fans. Once I deal with Alcine I’ll be hoping to get another world title shot at the end on the year.”