Macklin looking to Tipperary – Limerick showdown in the ring

British and Irish Middleweight Champion Matthew Macklin believes that the All-Ireland hurling semi final clash between Tipperary and Limerick could be replayed in the boxing ring in the not too distant future. The Munster rivals meet at Croke Park this Sunday in a crunch decider for the right to meet Kilkenny in this years All-Ireland final. Tipperary fan Macklin believes another major all Munster clash could be on the cards in the ring should he lift the European Middleweight title in Manchester next month..

Macklin meets World rated Finnish fighter Amin Asikainen on September 25th for the European title and a win could set up a massive all Irish clash with Limerick southpaw Andy Lee. The former Olypmian is currently listed at number 10 in the European ratings and Macklin says he’d welcome an All Irish clash if he can overcome Asikainen.

“That would be a great fight for Irish boxing fans,” said Macklin who has played hurling at underage level for Tipperary and remains a close friend of the county’s star player, Eoin Kelly

“It would be the biggest all Irish fight for a long, long time and to have a major belt like a European title on the line would make it a massive occasion. Andy’s a good fighter and a decent lad but business is business at the end of the day and if I’m European Champion then I think it’s a fight that makes real sense.”

The Brian Peters managed Macklin has recently linked up with friend and former sparring partner Ricky Hatton to join his new promotional outfit and his first outing for the “Hitman” comes at the Manchester Velodrome on September 25th when he tops the bill against Asikainen.

“A defence in Ireland against Andy Lee would be great but for now I’m just concentrating on winning the title,” revealed Macklin. “Asikainen is a World class fighter, he first won the European title fight back in 2006 so he’s very experienced at this level. He’s currently rated number 4 in the World with the IBF so I know that beating him would put me within touching distance of a shot at the World title.”

It hasn’t been all good news for Macklin though, his date with Asikainen means that he won’t be able to leave his Manchester training camp to travel to Croke Park on Sunday. “I’m gutted that I won’t be able to come over for it but it would just disrupt my training too much to break camp for the weekend. I’m confident Tipp can do the job and go on a give Kilkenny a real go in the final. Kilkenny are an unbelievable side but they are well overdue an off day and I think Tipperary might be the team to knock them off their perch.”

Article posted on 13.08.2009

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