Top-rated middleweight contender Matthew Macklin is getting a bit tired and frustrated, to say the least, on waiting to hear what direction IBF middleweight champion Felix Sturm is heading for his next bout. Macklin and Sturm’s well documented and publicized history dates back to their first bout, which took place in Sturm’s home country of Germany in 2011. The bout was Macklin’s first world title opportunity and the Irishman made the most of it. Macklin took the fight right to the hometown hero Sturm, who was defending his title for the 10th consecutive time. It was a grueling battle, with Macklin seemingly having the clear advantage after the 12-round championship bout. CompuBox had Macklin averaging 92 punches thrown per round, doubling Sturm’s output. Macklin also landed 127 more punches and outlanded Sturm in 11 of the 12 rounds. Unfortunately though, two of the three judges didn’t see the fight that way, awarding Sturm a split decision and leaving Macklin longing for another shot at the champ.
After Sturm stopped Darren Barker last year to reclaim a piece of the middleweight crown, Macklin and Sturm immediately began trading verbal jabs on Twitter and the long awaited and highly anticipated rematch seemed to be a sure thing. Macklin spoke to promoter Lou DiBella and advisor Anthony Catanzaro and instructed them to make the fight at any and all costs. Macklin began training, anticipating the fight would happen sometime in the near future. Unfortunately though, he continues to wait on the German titlist.
“We met all of his demands, yet he still won’t move forward with the fight,” stated an agitated Macklin. “We agreed to fight him in his backyard for not much money at all. In fact, the purse was less than what I received against Lamar Russ. The money isn’t what matters though. I just want the opportunity to show the world who the better fighter is. I know that I beat him in our first fight and I know that I will beat him again. I believed Sturm to be a great champion and a great warrior, and with everything that was said after our first fight, we felt that he would want this challenge. We are absolutely shocked that he continues to delay and not just come out and accept the fight. We accepted all of his terms, so what is his excuse? We realize that he has made an offer to fight Murray, but I want to publicly come out and say that if Murray doesn’t accept the offer thenwe are ready, willing and able to make this fight happen right now! I know that I won the first fight, but I will assure him that if he gives me the opportunity for this second bout, which I know that I will win again, I will promise to give him an immediate rematch. The ball is in your court Felix. Be the great champion that you say you are and give me, and the fans, the fight they want to see.”