By Elliot Foster
Matthew Macklin and Brian Rose will collide for a different belt than first advertised.
The middleweight pair were originally set to do battle over 12 rounds in an official eliminator for the WBC title, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Macklin (34-6, 22 KOs) and Rose (28-5 KOs) will now meet for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental crown at the O2 Arena in London on April 9, as part of the supporting cast to Anthony Joshua’s challenge of Charles Martin for the IBF heavyweight championship of the world.
Both world title challengers, Birmingham’s Macklin, who was born in Ireland, has fought for global honours three times, while Rose, from Blackpool, was played with over seven by Demetrius Andrade for the WBO super welterweight belt in 2014.
Since his last foray into the elite level, Macklin has had mixed fortunes with five wins and one knockout defeat at the hands of Jorge Sebastian Heiland.
Rose, meanwhile, has three wins and a defeat on his ledger since that June night in Brooklyn against ‘Boo Boo’.
A clash between Macklin and Rose has long been mooted and it was officially confirmed on the same day Anthony Joshua’s date with world title destiny was ironed into everyone’s diaries.
The undercard to the pay-per-view showdown features two more world title fights as Jamie McDonnell defends his WBA bantamweight title against Fernando Vargas and Lee Selby faces his mandatory challenger, Eric Hunter, in a defence of the IBF featherweight crown.
Elsewhere, Ohara Davies and Andy Keates meet for the vacant English lightweight belt and super middleweights George Groves and David Brophy square-off for the vacant WBA International title over 12 rounds.
And they are joined by Conor Benn, the son of former world champion Nigel, as he makes his professional debut alongside Ted Cheeseman, who is looking to remain undefeated through four contests in the paid game.
You can book Martin-Joshua, for the IBF heavyweight title on April 9 at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London, by visiting skysports.tv/dBEN8U.