British Boxing: Familiar face for Macklin

Matthew Macklin will be confronted with a foe familiar to all Irish fight fans at the Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the National Stadium, Dublin on Saturday, October 20th. Macklin meets Italy’s Alessio Furlan who was last seen trading blows with John Duddy at the very same venue last July..

On that occasion only a late late show from Duddy prevented the brave Furlan from hearing the final bell. Now he’s getting ready to shape up to reigning Irish middleweight champ Macklin as he looks to even the score against his Irish middleweight rivals.

Macklin though is excited at the prospect of raising his European profile with a win over a man who has given current European champion Sebastian Sylvester a hard nights work.

The Birmingham based Irishman said, “I’m really looking forward to this one. It should be a great night with myself, John Duddy and Paul McCloskey on the card. It’s great that all these Irish fighters are coming through at the moment and I’m really enjoying being part of that.

“Furlan should be a good test for me. He lasted into the final round with both John and Sebastian Sylvester so he’s very well respected and I’m expecting a tough night.”

Macklin however is adamant that he will not be out to better Duddy’s result against the Turin based fighter. “I know people will probably look at the fight and start comparing me and John and I suppose that’s only natural but I don’t really look at it that way. Myself and John are both doing our own thing and if we fight down the road well and good but for the moment we both have plans of our own.

“It looks like John might be fighting Kelly Pavlik for the world title early next year and that would be a fantastic fight. He’s done very well in the States and I’m looking forward to fighting on the same card now in Dublin.”

While Macklin is looking forward to seeing Duddy tackle former world title challenger Noe Tulio Gonzalez Alcoba in the main event on October 20th he knows that he’ll have his hands full with Furlan earlier on in the night.

“I saw Furlan’s fight with John last time and it was a good performance by John to stop him late because Furlan is a tough, seasoned campaigner.

“It’s just the kind of fight I need right now because I could do with ten good rounds under my belt.

“Of course if I can stop him early I won’t pass up the chance but that would be a bonus.”

Furlan though is promising to leave Dublin as a winner this time around.

‘Il Guerriero’, said, “I’m not making excuses for the Duddy fight because he is a good fighter and a strong guy but my preparation was not ideal.

“My trainer could not come to Dublin as he was in hospital and my son was also in hospital for an operation so it was difficult to leave him behind and come to Dublin. I’m 100% focused this time around though and I expect a better performance against Macklin.”

Macklin however expects to have big support at the stadium with extended family and friends travelling from Roscommon and Tipperary.

“I think most people know by now about my connections to Tipperary and my love of Tipp hurling but I also have strong connections to Roscommon because my Dad‘s family are from there and there is a lot from that side of the family travelling to Dublin to support me as well.

Macklin is currently training for his date with Furlan in Manchester alongside friend and stablemate Ricky Hatton. Hatton is of course in training for his pound for pound showdown with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on December 8 and Macklin says the entire gym is benefiting from the big fight build up.

“The gym is really buzzing at the moment and Ricky is already in great shape. It’s such a big fight and you learn so much just from even being around Ricky in the build up to fights like this. The level Ricky’s on right now is the level all fighters aspire to so even seeing how his handling all the hype and publicity is a great experience.

Macklin and Furlan is part of a marathon 9 fight card that is headlined by Duddy’s ten round battle with world class Uruguayan Noe Tulio Gonzalez Alcoba. Also in action is undefeated quartet Paul McCloskey, Stephen Haughian, Lukasz Wawrzyczek, Sergey Kravchenko and the professional debit of hard punching Mayo native Michael Sweeney.

Tickets for the “Celtic Tigers” Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the National Stadium, Dublin on October 20th are priced from €50 and are available from and all usual outlets.

Article posted on 08.10.2007

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