29.05.06 – Matthew Macklin finally “comes home” this Thursday night when he has his first professional fight in his native Birmingham. The 24-year-old has longed to fight in his hometown and finally after four and a half years in the pro ranks he is getting his wish. Macklin takes on Poland’s Marcin Piatkowski over eight rounds this Thursday night at the Aston Villa Leisure Centre and says he simply can’t wait. “I’m absolutely buzzing for this fight,” revealed Macklin.
“Since I’ve turned pro the question I’m constantly asked in Birmingham is when am I going to fight back here so it’s great that it’s finally happening now.”
Macklin will be providing chief support for the British welterweight title fight between local favourite Young Muttley and Kevin Anderson with both fights featuring live on Sky Sports. It will be Macklin’s first fight with new manager Brian Peters and the Irish businessman is promising that Macklin’s next outing in Birmingham will see him topping the bill.
“This fight should give Matthew a nice little workout ahead of his British title fight with Jamie Moore in July,” said Peters. “Once he’s taken the title from Moore he’ll be back in Birmingham for his first defence. I’ve done a promotional deal with Barry Hearn which will see Matthew fight in Birmingham on a regular basis and there’s no doubt that Matthew has the talent and the personality to revive boxing in the city.”
Macklin is already proving a big attraction in the city and expects to sell around a1,000 tickets for Thursday nights fight. “It’s been crazy,” said Macklin. “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing and the demand for tickets has been huge. It’s great to know that even though I haven’t fought in Birmingham since I was an amateur people are really coming out to support me.”
One man who will be out to spoil the homecoming party though is Piatkowski, a durable Polish fighter who took leading British middleweight Richard Williams the distance when they met in February.
“I watched that fight and Piatkowski looks to be a tough guy,” said Macklin. “He certainly takes a good shot and he was a good test for Richard Williams. I have a lot of respect for Richard, I think he’s an excellent fighter and he couldn’t stop Piatkowski and that was at middleweight. I’ll be fighting him at light middleweight so I’ll be looking to better Richard’s result but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
A win for Macklin would secure his rescheduled British title shot against Jamie Moore which is now expected to take place in July. The two were scheduled to meet in early May but an injury to the champion put paid to the original date. “I was gutted when I heard that the fight was off,” admitted Macklin. “I was just peaking and really looking forward to it but I took a week off and recharged my batteries and I’ve been flying in the gym recently. I’m just looking forward to a good performance on Thursday night and then it will be full steam ahead for the fight with Moore.”
Macklin is currently on a four fight KO streak which has seen his pick up two wins Stateside, an Irish middleweight title win in Dublin and a sensational first round KO over Russian middleweight champion Alexey Chirkov.
Peters who also manages unbeaten Dublin super bantamweight Bernard Dunne says he’s expecting big things from Macklin over the coming months. “Matthew’s potential is scary really. I think the sky’s the limit with him and once he’s secured the British title we’ll be setting our sights on the European title.”
Macklin’s fight at the Aston Villa Leisure Centre can be seen on Sky Sports 1 this Thursday night from 10PM.