Matthew “Mack The Knife” Macklin will return to action in the U.S before the end of the year with a familiar face in his corner. Macklin faces the world rated Willie Nelson in Atlantic City on December 7th in a fight that will be broadcast live by HBO. Leading his corner on the night will be former opponent Jamie Moore as the duo link up over seven years on from their epic British title duel back in 2006.
That bout has entered boxing folklore as one of the greatest fights in British boxing history as the two men engaged in a toe to toe, back and forth war that eventually saw Moore emerge victorious. The Manchester native would go on to add the European Light Middleweight title to his British crown before retiring in 2010, subsequently embarking on a second career as a trainer.
Meanwhile Macklin gave up his battle with the scales and moved up to middleweight to win the British and European titles in devastating fashion before going on to fight for the World title against Felix Sturm, Sergio Martinez and Gennady Golovkin. Now Macklin wants to rebound from defeat to pound for pound contender Gennady Golovkin in June and put himself back in line for another World title shot.
“Obviously I was very disappointed with the loss to Golovkin but I have to keep things in perspective and it’s pretty clear that Golovkin is a special fighter”, said Macklin. “In hindsight I probably used the wrong tactics in that fight but I’ve no excuses, he’s the best I’ve ever fought. That was my third world title fight but I was robbed against Felix Sturm in Germany in my first attempt and then pushed Sergio Martinez very hard in my second crack. Obviously things didn’t go my way against Golovkin but both he and Martinez are in pretty much everyone’s top 5 pound for pound list so I know I still have what it takes to win a world title.
“I think working with Jamie will definitely be a fresh start for me and I’m very excited about working with him. We’ve have known each other for years and our fight back in 2006 only strengthened the respect we have for each other and obviously he brings a wealth of experience from his own career.”
Moore is equally excited about the opportunity to work with his former foe. “When you go through a fight like we went through then you form quite a bond”, revealed Moore. “I was already friends with Mathew before we fought and that only strengthened the bond and over the years we have always kept in touch. Since our fight I’ve watched him improve, adapt and become a world class fighter and I want to help him realise his dream of becoming a world champion. To be part of that journey would be very special for me as well because of what we went through in our fight.
“It’s not about making any major changes to Matthew’s style at this stage in his career. It’s more about ironing out wrinkles and getting Matthew to box to his strengths and come up with the right game plan. I actually covered Willie Nelson’s last fight for Sky and he’s a very capable fighter and has a decent pedigree but I believe that his style will suit Matthew and I know he’ll want to put on another devastating performance to get himself back in the world title picture again.”
Macklin shares his new trainer confidence in getting the right result in Atlantic City on December 7th. “It’s a dangerous fight but I’m not one to duck a challenge,” said Macklin. “He has quite a few early KO’s so I’ll have to be careful early on but I’m confident that I can get the win so I’m really looking forward to it and getting back to winning ways.”
Follow Matthew Macklin on Twitter: @mattmacklin