“I proved against Sturm that I’m one of the best middleweights in the world and an uncrowned world champion but beating Martinez will put me onto another level again.” — Matthew Macklin
Matthew Macklin, 28-3, 19 KO’s, is preparing to take out what many consider the number #3 pound for pound fighter in the world in Sergio Martinez at the historic Madison Square Garden where many great and memorable fights have been made. Macklin is an action fighter from the opening bell of the first round to the last second of the final round.
As Matthew has stated, many historic middleweight fights have been made in New York’s Madison Square Garden and that awareness has made him even more motivated. Matthew chatted with RSR on exactly what it would mean to beat Sergio and take his crown away.
The fight can be seen live in New York, although word is that it’s near sell out, or you can view it on HBO on Saturday or across the pond on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.
MA: Are there challenges when travelling to fight overseas?
There are, but I don’t particularly consider this fight an “overseas” fight as such because I’ve been based in New York, living and training here since last September. Although Sergio is a great fighter, his success hasn’t really translated to the box office where as I will be bring a whole army of people across the Atlantic for this fight. When you take that into account along with all the support from the Irish community in New York on St. Patrick’s Day, it will be like fighting in Dublin for me.
MA: What does a win over Martinez mean to you?
It would be a life changing win for me in terms of the opportunities it would open up. I proved against Sturm that I’m one of the best middleweights in the world and an uncrowned world champion, but beating Martinez will put me onto another level again.
MA: As good as Sergio has looked; does your team see any bad habits that he does that you could exploit during the fight?
Sergio is very unorthodox so that means he makes a lot of fundamental mistakes. He uses his speed and reflexes to compensate for that so not many people have been able to capitalize on his mistakes but we believe we have the game plan in place to change that. The media have built him into something of a monster, but at the end of the day he’s a man just like me with two arms and two legs and when he gets hit on the chin, believe me he’ll know all about it.
MA: What are some things you have learned from Buddy McGirt?
I’ve worked with a lot of trainers during my career and you try to take something in from everyone but Buddy is definitely one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve met in the sport. Obviously, he was a very slick and smart fighter himself and he brings all that experience and knowledge to bear as a trainer.
MA: What are some of your favorite places in New York when not training?
I’ve been known to visit a few of the Irish bars here when not in training, but, to be honest, I like the vibe in the city in general even if it’s just strolling around Central Park or grabbing a coffee and watching the world go by. It’s a great city.
MA: As a fighter, what are your greatest strengths?
My natural strength. I’m a very big middleweight. I’ve a great engine so I can go at a fast pace from the first bell to the last. I have the power to hurt anyone and a good boxing brain.
MA: What particular fight has made you a stronger fighter?
I think you can learn something from every fight and training camp that you have and use that experience to build on and improve throughout your career. I go to the gym every day looking to learn something new or improve on some aspect of my game and I feel even though I’m a well-established professional that I am still improving as a fighter.
MA: Is your brother also your best friend?
I’m lucky in that I come from a very close knit family with my Mom and Dad, my brother and my two sisters. Seamus has been here with me in New York since I started training camp for Martinez. When you are in training camp you need someone around you who you are comfortable with because you have good days and bad days and it’s great to have Seamus around to bounce ideas off about the fight or about training and then at other times just to have a laugh and unwind because there are times in camp when you need to switch off for a few hours as well and relax.
MA: Thoughts on fighting in historic Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden has an aura about it when it comes to boxing and particularly the middleweight division. It has so much history with the legendary middleweights going back to that great period in the 40s, 50’s and 60’s when you had the Jake LaMotta and Sugar Ray Robinson fights in the Garden and Champions like Tony Zale, Rocky Graziano, Carmen Basillio, Joey Giardello and Emile Griffith all featuring. Then in the 80s, you had legends like Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran in action there so it’s a place that’s synonymous with the legends of boxing. To be part of that history and on St. Patrick’s night is the kind of thing that makes the hairs on the back of your next stand up just thinking about it.
MA: Message to your fans?
Thank to everyone for the support. I know a lot of people have spent money traveling across the Atlantic for this fight and I plan on repaying that support by delivering a massive performance for them on St. Patrick’s night and giving them a night to remember. I believe the fight is almost a sell out at this point so if people can’t be there then the fight is live on HBO and on Sky Sports back home and I’m sure the atmosphere in the pubs around NY showing the fight will be great as well.
Nickname: “Mack The Knife”
Professional Record: 28-3-0, 19 KO’s
2011-06-25 Felix Sturm 35-2-1 Cologne, DE L SD 12
WBA Super World Middleweight Title
2010-12-11 Ruben Varon 35-5-0 Liverpool, UK W UD 12
EBU (European) Middleweight Title
2010-09-18 Shalva Jomardashvili 27-2-1 Birmingham, UK W RTD 6
vacant EBU (European) Middleweight Title
2009-12-05 Rafael Sosa Pintos 34-4-0 Dublin, IE W PTS 10
2009-09-25 Amin Asikainen 26-2-0 Manchester, UK W TKO 1
vacant EBU (European) Middleweight Title
2009-03-14 Wayne Elcock 19-3-0 Birmingham, UK W TKO 3
BBBofC British Middleweight Title
2008-10-31 Geard Ajetovic 16-3-1 Birmingham, UK W PTS 10
2008-09-06 Francis Cheka 14-5-1 Manchester, UK W PTS 10
2008-03-22 Luis Ramon Campas 91-11-0 Dublin, IE W PTS 10
2007-10-20 Alessio Furlan 19-9-5 Dublin, IE W TKO 8
2007-08-25 Darren Rhodes 21-12-3 Dublin, IE W KO 4
2007-07-20 Anatoliy Udalov 7-3-0 Wolverhampton, UK W KO 1
2006-09-29 Jamie Moore 24-3-0 Manchester, UK L KO 10
BBBofC British Light Middleweight Title
2006-06-01 Marcin Piatkowski 18-6-2 Birmingham, UK W TKO 4
2005-11-26 Alexey Chirkov 17-1-0 Sheffield, UK W KO 1
2005-10-28 Anthony Little 5-2-0 Philadelphia, US W TKO 2
2005-08-04 Leo Laudat 7-8-0 Atlantic City, US W TKO 3
2005-05-14 Michael Monaghan 16-14-0 Dublin, IE W KO 5
vacant Irish Middleweight Title
2004-06-12 Ojay Abrahams 20-55-4 Manchester, UK W PTS 4
2004-04-24 Scott Dixon 27-9-3 Reading, UK W RTD 5
2004-02-21 Dean Walker 9-1-1 Cardiff, UK W KO 1
2003-11-06 Andrew Facey 12-2-1 Dagenham, UK L PTS 10
vacant BBBofC English Light Middleweight Title
2003-05-24 Paul Denton 7-35-2 Bethnal Green, UK W PTS 6
2003-02-15 Ruslan Yakupov 2-1-1 Wembley, UK W PTS 6
2002-09-28 Leonti Vorontsuk 13-11-1 Manchester, UK W TKO 5
2002-06-01 Guy Alton 7-3-0 Manchester, UK W TKO 3
2002-04-20 Ilia Spasov 4-7-2 Cardiff, UK W KO 3
2002-03-11 David Kirk 9-40-3 Glasgow, UK W PTS 4
2002-02-09 Dmitri Protkunas 4-4-0 Manchester, UK W RTD 2
2001-12-15 Cristian Hodorogea 3-7-0 Wembley, UK W KO 1
2001-11-17 Ram Singh 7-43-4 Glasgow, UK W TKO 1