Heart says Macklin……..head says Macklin.
There is little evidence to suggest that Matthew Macklin will have it all his own way in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night (3/17/12), and indeed few pundits are backing the Irishman to upset the odds against world champion, Sergio Martinez.
But this one has that feel about it—the planets have aligned, the time is now, and come 11pm EST there may very well be one hell of an Irish party breaking down on Manhattan’s 34th Street, and indeed all the way back home to Tipperary.
Macklin was handed a very raw deal in his last fight, a title tilt versus German Felix Sturm. Stung by this injustice, the Birmingham-born twenty-nine year old therefore has all the motivation needed to right the wrong of that June night in Cologne.
Macklin had his arms raised as European champion in December 2010 after defeating Ruben Varon at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, while in his last outing Martinez defeated London’s Darren Barker via a knockout in the 11th round of their Atlantic City bout.
The California-based Argentinian was forced to work by Barker and, at the age of 37, some feel his power is on the wane. Still, the man they call Marvilla is rated as the best pound for pound boxer in the game at present, and will want to be remembered by his countrymen as Carlos Monzon once was.
Yet Macklin has all the tools to do the job in New York on Saturday night, and will not be overawed by the occasion, having been in with Sturm most recently. The Irishman has power, stamina and desire and will also have the backing of a boisterous home crowd.
It will likely not receive much traction with the bookmakers, who fancy the world champion to remain just that after Saturday night’s bout, but go with an Irish victory on St Patrick’s Day and you could have more reason to celebrate this weekend.