Macklin Says Sturm Promised Him A November Rematch

By James Slater - Once again in his exciting career, Matthew Macklin has engaged in a FOTY candidate. Yet sadly for the 29-year-old warrior, his efforts were not quite enough to secure victory. But unlike in his all-time British classic with southpaw Jamie Moore, Macklin was not stopped last night in Germany.

Macklin, boxing down at light-middleweight, was sensationally stopped in the 10th-round by Moore, in their terrific 2006 war. Last night’s controversial split decision loss to defending WBA middleweight boss Felix Sturm, however, is being called a flat-out robbery by a number of experts and fans.. Once again thrilling the fans with electric toe-to-toe action, “Mack The Knife” hung tough right to the final bell against Sturm, yet he was cruelly denied victory.

Undeterred despite being most disappointed, Macklin is now looking ahead to a return with the 31-year-old champ. Speaking with U.K media after last night’s thoroughly enjoyable rumble, Macklin said Sturm, embarrassed by his win, said he’d grant him a return chance in November.

“Even the German T.V had me winning by four rounds,” Macklin said of last night’s verdict. “I won the fight by at least three rounds, no doubt. I was very strong, stronger than him and I won. After the fight he [Sturm] said he would give me a rematch in November. He knows he has to because he was embarrassed on German T.V.

“I don’t want to sound bad, but next time I’ll smash him to pieces.”

But where will the rematch take place? Sturm has rarely fought outside of his homeland (and with the kind of T.V and live audiences he picks up in Germany why should he travel?), and a November rematch, if it happens, is almost sure to go ahead in Germany. As great as Macklin fought last night, it seems unlikely he will be able to raise his game and perform even better. But could it be that Sturm will be able to put in a better showing in a rematch? The word according to the SKY Sports commentators covering the fight was that the WBA champ had struggled to make weight for last night’s defence; to the effect that he had to shift something approaching 30-pounds in the run-up to the fight.

If Sturm did go through a less than ideal camp for Macklin, and if he did struggle so much with making 160, his performance was almost certainly compromised. Yet Sturm still fought well last night. If the two do rumble again - and from a fan’s standpoint a second fight would be great news - a similar outcome is a real possibility.

Sturm told the media that he “made a mistake at the start and gave him too much space.” Macklin, if he does get a second shot at Sturm, is not going to alter his tactics of making the fight a battle in a phone booth. The question is, will Sturm be stronger next time, and will he be able to dominate the centre of the ring much earlier in a return?

Macklin certainly deserves a second shot. Sturm seems willing to give him one.

Article posted on 26.06.2011

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