By James Slater – Matthew Macklin, the reigning European middleweight champion, says he has followed the career of world middleweight king Sergio Martinez for some time now, and the 28-year-old is of the opinion that there is nothing to fear from the Argentine who recently knocked out Paul “The Punisher” Williams inside a couple of rounds..
Macklin, 27-2(19) has made it clear he wants a fight with the 35-year-old southpaw, and he is also convinced he would beat Martinez if he got the chance..
Speaking on his promoter Frank Warren’s official website, Macklin said he has always wanted to fight the very best.
“I’ve followed his career quite closely since he beat Richard Williams and Adrian Stone at light-middleweight over here [the U.K] a few years ago,” Macklin said of Martinez. “He’s a great fighter, and I’m not going to say that I would smash him to pieces or anything like that. But I would be confident of beating him, and I’m not scared to go on record stating that.
“For a while now I’ve wanted to fight the best in the world. I’ve served my apprenticeship, winning the British and European titles, and now I’m ready for Martinez. Martinez has shown before he is willing to come to the U.K, but I’m more than happy to go to the States to fight him.”
Macklin may not be all that familiar a name to U.S fans, but he sure can fight. Beaten just twice in almost ten years as a pro, and stopped just one time (by Jamie Moore, down at 154-pounds, in an absolute classic), the Birmingham man has proven his class with wins over Luis Ramon Campos, Wayne Elcock and Amin Asikainen. At least Macklin has proven his domestic and European class. No doubt, a fight against Martinez would be some big step up for the man who fights on Dec. 11th, on Warren’s next huge bill, in Liverpool – but “Mack The Knife” definitely deserves his chance.
In all likelihood, Martinez-Macklin will not happen, as the world middleweight ruler is talking about getting himself a super-fight against the likes of Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao or even Floyd Mayweather Junior. Sure, “Maravilla” has fought in the U.K before, in 2003, but that was when he was still an up-and-comer to some degree, who certainly hadn’t yet earned the right to call out the huge names. And even with Macklin offering to take Martinez on in America, it’s unlikely the Argentine will look Macklin’s way.
Maybe Warren can swing some of his magic and get Macklin a date with the middleweight number-one (he has, after all, gotten his fighters some big, big opportunities in his time) – but what kind of a fight would it be if the two did meet? Macklin is versatile, he can punch and he has bags of confidence and self belief. He is also unbeaten as a 160-pounder and he has undoubtedly reached his peak now. Winner of his last ten, Macklin looks like making it eleven against Ruben Varon on Dec. 11th. Maybe, just maybe, he WILL land a world title shot after that – if not against Martinez, then perhaps against one of the alphabelt boys.
But Macklin says he only wants the best, and we all agree Martinez is the world’s best middleweight. Is Macklin “ready for Martinez,” as he says he is?