Macklin concerned that Haye may have problem winning a decision against Wladimir; Britsch-Davis on 7/16; Bellew trying to create a legacy for himself

Matthew Macklin hopes that the uproar surrounding his controversial points defeat to World Boxing Association (WBA) World Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm in Germany at the weekend will decrease the chances of David Haye suffering a similar fate against Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg this Saturday.

Macklin appeared to have done more than enough to rip Sturm's title away in front of a sell out crowd of almost 20,000 at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne only for two of the three scoring judges to deny him his World title dream.

The decision baffled many of those in attendance and the millions watching worldwide on SAT.1 in Germany, Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and on Epix in the U.S. A viewers poll on the SAT.1 website spoke volumes with 76% of German's polled believing that Macklin had won the fight as opposed to just 24% for Sturm.

The German media were equally outraged with headlines since the fight such as, "A Sturm of Indignation", "German Boxing Disgrace", "Miscarriage of Justice" and "Fluke Victory".

Macklin hopes that the uproar will benefit David Haye should his clash with Klitschko be decided on the scorecards. "I think David has the power and speed to knock Klitschko out anyway and take it out of the judges hands but if it goes to the scorecards then I think the spotlight will really be on the judges after my fight and hopefully David will get a fair shake," said Macklin.

"I got back from Germany yesterday but the fan's over there were coming up to me and apologising for the decision. I think they have been very embarrassed by it and the German media reports on the fight have reflected that. One of the papers even reported that Felix needed to have TV make up applied so that he would look a little better at the post fight press conference!

"I believe I was the better man on the night and it seems to me that almost everyone aside from those two judges who scored for Sturm saw it the same way. It was a tough fight but I thought I was a clear winner.

"After the fight I asked him for a rematch and he told me 'I'm a man, I will give you a rematch'.
He knows I beat him and he's embarrassed by that decision so if he's the fighter I think he is I'm sure he will want to put it right but if not then I won't lose any sleep over it and I will move on. In our hearts we both know that I won that fight hands down. I proved that I belong at the highest level and this has only made me more determined than ever to succeed."

Macklin's manager Brian Peters says that the support from the boxing community worldwide has been heartening. "A lot of very respected people within the sport have spoken out on the decision and it's been great to receive that kind of support. Thomas Hauser and Dan Rafael are among two of the most widely read commentators on the sport and they both had Matthew winning by scores of 117 - 111 and Lennox Lewis said it was 'highway robbery' and one of the worst decisions he'd seen. The former World Heavyweight title challenger Axel Schulz was commentating for German TV and he had Matthew winning by three rounds.

"We've been inundated with emails from German fans expressing their disgust at the decision and Felix's own Facebook page has been flooded with negative comments as well from Germans so that tells it's own story."

Team Macklin's views have been supported by some heavy hitters in the boxing world from those inside and outside the ropes via Twitter and other outlets. A selection of those include:

Lennox Lewis - Former undisputed World Heavyweight Champion

"Highway Robbery! One of the worst decisions I've seen. Macklin won that fight hands down."

Lou DiBella - Promoter of WBC Middleweight Champion, Sergio Martinez

"GREAT JOB Matthew Macklin. Team Martinez respects your performance and your heart, CHAMP. Sergio Martinez will not go to Germany for Sturm!"

Thomas Hauser - Muhammad Ali's biographer and award winning boxing writer

From Hauser's column on The Sweet Science:

"Sturm fought Matthew Macklin in the "champion's" hometown of Cologne, Germany. The bout was televised in the United States live on Epix. It was understood going in that, if there was an outrageous decision, it would be in Sturm's favor. Felix might be a better boxer than Matthew. But on Saturday, Macklin fought a better fight. He clearly won eight of the twelve rounds. Two more were close.

I scored the fight 117-111 for Macklin. Judge Levi Martinez scored it 115-113 for Matthew, which was a bit of a stretch in Sturm's favour.

Then came the obscenity. Judges Roberto Ramirez and Jose Ignacio Martinez each scored the bout for Sturm by a 116-112 margin.

The decision was unfair to Macklin, who has made every sacrifice necessary to get to the point in his career where he was positioned to win a belt."

Dan Rafael - boxing writer and television commentator

"Terrific fight too but bad decision. Macklin robbed. I had it 117-111 for Matthew on the EPIX broadcast.

Rafael's Fight Report excerpt:

"Of course, Macklin was on Sturm's turf, and Germany is notorious for hometown decisions. This was one of them. Although Sturm said he thought he won in his postfight interview, he seemed almost embarrassed and offered Macklin a rematch. Macklin, who showed class after the outrageous decision, simply outfought Sturm the entire fight, and it did not even seem all that close. He should have won and can at least know that he made a big impression in his first major fight on the world stage. He made it exciting and proved he is one of the world's best middleweights, with or without an alphabet belt around his waist."

Carl Froch - Current WBC Super Middleweight champion and upcoming super six finalist

"Just got home & watched Macklin beat Sturm 116-112 at least. Jim WATT was you watching?!"

Joe Calzaghe - Former World Super Middleweight Champion

"Thought Macklin won! But not surprised he didn't get decision. Predictable home town decision!"

Chris Mannix - Sports Illustrated's Boxing Writer

"Welcome to boxing, everyone. 2 judges gave 8 rounds to Sturm, an absolutely disgusting scoring - home turf decision."

"Feel bad for Macklin. Worked hard for that opportunity. Hope the rematch is with better judges on EpixHD."

"This is why Felix Sturm rarely fights outside of Germany. How two judges can have that big a gap in the scoring is mind boggling. Matthew Macklin was the aggressor, landed cleaner shots and did phenomenal body work. Fought the best fight he possibly could. Sturm was sluggish and didn’t get it going until the later rounds. In any other country, this fight is a clear decision for Matthew Macklin."

Al Bernstein - Veteran Boxing analyst for Showtime in the US

"Just watched Sturm - Macklin on Epix. One of worst decisions I have ever seen - maybe THE worst."

"Macklin threw twice as many punches, landed at least twice as many and pushed Sturm back whole fight."

Jean-Marcel Nartz - Germany's European Boxing Union Council member

"The decision was a blatant miscarriage of justice."

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Britsch vs. Davis on July 16th

Unbeaten German sensation Dominik Britsch (23-0, 8 KOs) has set his sights on his first major belt when he takes on Ryan Davis (23-8-3, 9 KOs) for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) Intercontinental Middleweight Title in Munich on July 16. The gifted 23-year-old, who has twice fought on Super Six World Boxing Classic undercards in the US, has been primed for glory ever since winning the IBF Youth Middleweight Title two years ago against Daniel Urbanski.

While many believe the versatile, charismatic and articulate youngster could be the next German boxing superstar, Britsch is keeping his feet firmly to the ground. “I am thrilled to finally fight for my first big international title,” Britsch said. “That is exactly what I have been working and waiting for. I will take one step at a time and not look past Davis, who is a tough guy. But he will not stop me on my way to the top.”

In the main event of the night, WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck will make a seventh defence of his title against Hugo Hernan Garay, while European Light Heavyweight Champion Eduard Gutknecht will take on Lorenzo Di Giacomo. It will be a busy night for coach Wegner, who believes Britsch has a golden future ahead. “Dominik has the potential, the talent and the determination to be the next big thing in Germany,” Wegner lauded. “He works hard in practice and listens to my advice. We have carefully moved him to the top. Now is the time for big fights. He is a diamond and I am sure he will put on a great performance against Davis.”

Bellew-McKenzie: Bellew looking to make a name for himself

Tony Bellew says that he will never be better than John Conteh, but he aims to carve out his own niche at light-heavyweight.

The unbeaten Bomber has been likened to British boxing great and former WBC World Champion Conteh since turning pro.

The pair share a weight division and, in Liverpool, a home city.

Conteh has even accompanied Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Bellew to the ring before.

But the 28-year-old insists that he will be his own man.

Next up, Bellew meets Ovill McKenzie on July 16 at the Liverpool Echo Arena in a return of their thriller last December, with the vacant British title also on the line, live on Sky Sports 1HD.

"It's fantastic to be compared to Conteh because he is a true legend," said Bellew,"

"He's given me some great advice as I've been growing up, and to have him on my ring walk was a true honour,"

"He was a hero of mine when I was growing up and I still look up to him now,"

"He's a great man and a legend in the sport, but I can't be compared to him until I have achieved some major titles in boxing,"

"Perhaps when I've lifted a world title and made several defences, then I'll be more comfortable with the comparisons and even then I don't think I'll ever be better than him,"

"This fight against McKenzie is the perfect platform for me to start challenging at world level,"

"I made some silly mistakes in our first fight, but it was very exciting,"

"I want to maintain that level of excitement but without getting in trouble myself,"

"This fight will be like the first because McKenzie will be going on the floor, but I don't plan on my chin getting tested as much this time."

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Article posted on 28.06.2011

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