2x former world title challenger Matthew Macklin (33-6, 22ko) is convinced that he can still capture the world honours that have proven frustratingly elusive, with a move down from middleweight to 154 lbs potentially the key to success.
The 33 year old begins his quest against Jason Welborn (17-3, 6ko) in Birmingham on Saturday night, his first fight at the new weight in 9 years, and a crucial bounce back from his crushing – and somewhat surprise – defeat at the hands of Jorge Sebastian Heiland a year ago.
On that occasion Macklin was coming back from his June 2013 knockout loss at the hands of Gennady Golovkin, and had strung together a couple of wins before running into the Argentine – who stunned him in Dublin, in front of his massive Irish fan base.
“I still think I can win a world title,” he said. “After the fight with Heiland I did think maybe I am not what I was. He is a good fighter with a horrible style to fight, but after three rounds of feeling sharp, I just felt that I had no energy in there.
“I hadn’t been out of the gym all year and at 33, training like that, something has got to give. So I think that I still have plenty to give but it’s just been about changing the way i train a little bit, small adjustments, and I think that I am going to be more imposing at super-welterweight and my power will be great.”
The fight should present as routine business for Macklin against the Tividale man – who has lost to the likes of Frankie Gavin and Liam Smith when stepping up to British title level in the past – although Macklin is still preparing for the best Welborn and is refusing to take him too lightly.
“I have to win and win it well,” the Birmingham born man said. “He’s probably going to box 10% better than he has before and train harder than ever too, and he might think that I will struggle to get up for this fight.
“But I am excited about the future at super-welterweight – and there is no future without beating Jason, so I am well up for this,” he added.