Name: Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin
Record: 29-5 (20 KOs)
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Resides: Birmingham, England
Last Fight: 6/29/13 L TKO 3 Gennady Golovkin
Irish middleweight contender Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin is an intelligent
boxer-puncher, who has shown that he is not afraid to engage or press the action
There are times when a loss brings more positive attention to a fighter’s career
than any of his previous victories. Coming off his controversial loss to “Super” WBA
middleweight titlist Felix Sturm, that statement could not have been truer of
Macklin. Seeking redemption under a new promotional banner, a deal was reached
between Brian Peters, his manager since 2005, and Lou DiBella’s DiBella
Entertainment to bring him to the United States.
“I am really happy to have signed with DiBella Entertainment,” said Macklin. “I’ve
known Lou DiBella for many years. I met him in Manchester when Paulie Malignaggi
fought Lovemore Ndou in 2008. We spoke about doing something together in 2010,
but the timing wasn’t right. I feel that we’re now on the same wavelength. I’m
excited about the future and I feel that I am in very good hands with Lou.”
Born in Birmingham, England, to Irish parents, Macklin was studying law at
Coventry University while simultaneously competing as an amateur boxer. After
winning the national senior Amateur Boxing Association of England welterweight
title in 2001, Macklin made the decision to put his studies on hold, to the ire of his
parents, in order to pursue a professional boxing career.
In Glasgow, Scotland, on the undercard of future featherweight champion Scott
Harrison, Macklin turned pro, stopping Ram Singh in just 112 seconds, on
November 17, 2001. Going on to win his first nine bouts, six by knockout, Macklin
built up enough of a reputation to challenge for the British junior middleweight title.
Fighting Andrew Facey on November 6, 2003, Macklin lost a razor-thin 10-round
decision by one point, with a score of 96-95.
Macklin bounced back from that defeat, winning three straight before fighting
professionally in Ireland for the first time against Michael Monaghan for the Irish
middleweight title, on May 14, 2005, his 23rd birthday, at National Stadium in
Dublin. Macklin won the belt with a fifth-round knockout, at 1:28 of the frame.
Three months after winning the Irish middleweight title, Macklin traveled across the
pond to get his first taste of fighting in the United States, winning two bouts by
knockout, stopping Leo Laudat in three, in Atlantic City, and Anthony Little in two,
After two knockout victories back in England, Macklin would engage Jamie Moore in
one of the best fights of 2006, in his second attempt to win the British junior
middleweight crown. Fighting Moore at George Carnall Leisure Centre in Manchester
on September 29, Macklin was quickly drawn into a brawl and the two continued to
fight in the trenches for over nine brutal rounds, before the Irishman would
succumb to a knockout halfway through the 10th frame.
“I fought Jamie Moore at the wrong weight,” said Macklin. “Although I shouldn’t
have fought Moore’s fight, making weight was the problem in that bout. I felt weak,
I had no stamina and no reflexes. I stayed at welterweight and junior middleweight
for far too long. I am a middleweight.”
Maintaining a busy schedule over the next two years, Macklin would win his next six
fights, three by knockout, including a 10-round decision over veteran Yori Boy
Campas in Dublin. Macklin then returned to his hometown of Birmingham to
challenge Wayne Elcock for the British middleweight title on March 14, 2009,
winning by TKO in the third. Macklin followed that up with a fight against Finnish
Amin Asikainen six months later and destroyed him inside one round to add the
European title to his collection.
After defending the European title in two of his next three victories against Shalva
Jomardashvili via TKO6, and Ruben Varon over the 12-round distance, Macklin was
poised to make a big splash on the world boxing scene with a bout against former
junior middleweight champion Winky Wright set for Las Vegas. However, that bout
did not come to fruition when Wright pulled out after suffering an injury in training.
A WBA eliminator against Khoren Gevor next presented itself with the winner to
face Felix Sturm. Contractual issues led to Macklin pulling out of that contest, but
he was rewarded with a direct shot at Sturm. Despite losing a highly controversial
split decision on the champion’s home turf, Macklin made a statement with his
“I went over to Germany and I proved myself. I felt that I won,” said Macklin, who
lost the split decision by two votes of 116-112 for Sturm and a 115-113 tally in his
favor. “I feel that if we fought 100 times, I would beat him every time.
“I think the Sturm fight was an eye-opener for the boxing public at large. Sturm is
a leading man in the middleweight division and I think I proved that I am among
the top three middleweights in the world.”
DiBella Entertainment President Lou DiBella was thrilled with signing Macklin. “I
viewed signing Macklin as a no-brainer,” said DiBella. “I happen to like the kid very
much and that is part of it. There are certain guys who have very pleasing styles for
TV. This guy rumbles but he also has skills. He’s fun to watch and made a case that
he stands near the top of the middleweight division with the way he fought Sturm
Macklin faced middleweight champion Sergio Martinez on Saint Patrick’s Day, March
17, 2012, in front of a packed house at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, in
New York City. His challenge of Martinez came 18 years to the day after his first
amateur bout, as an 11-year-old, on Saint Patrick’s Day 1994. Macklin fought well
early on, using movement and combinations against the champion. His fiery spirit
led to some exciting changes down the stretch. In round seven, Macklin was
credited with a knockdown when a right hand caught Sergio and forced him to keep
steady by placing his glove on the canvas. Though from the point on, Martinez took
control and stopped the brave Macklin in round 11.
Back in action six months later, Macklin fought former junior middleweight
champion Joachim Alcine, on the undercard of the Chavez-Martinez middleweight
championship bout, at the Thomas and Mack Center, in Las Vegas, on September
15. Halfway through round one, Macklin landed a short, quick right hand upstairs
that dropped Alcine hard. Alcine arose and met Macklin center ring only to be
bombarded with a barrage of leather from the Irishman, concluding with a left hook
that dropped the Canadian a second time. With a weary Alcine climbing to his feet
once more, Macklin went in for the finish, unloading combinations with his
adversary trapped against the ropes, until referee Jay Nady halted the action at
2:36 of the frame.
On June 29, 2013, Macklin challenged WBA/IBO middleweight titlist Gennady “GGG”
Golovkin at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods, in Mashantucket, CT. After
matching Golovkin in activity rate over the first two frames, Macklin was caught by
a left hook to the body that dropped him for the full count in round three.
Following this match, Macklin teamed up with new trainer, Englishman and former
European junior middleweight champion Jamie Moore. Macklin and Moore know
each other quite intimately, having previously engaged in a wild brawl that was
considered one of the best fights of 2006.