Matthew Macklin has admitted he is relishing the chance to tackle Sergio Martinez on St Patrick's day, in what he describes as a 'fairytale' fight.
Last year, Macklin was beaten by Felix Sturm in somewhat controversial fashion. Basically in my opinion as well as many others, he won the fight despite Sturm's late storm. But even though he lost Macklin impressed and will now battle pound-for-pound ace Sergio Martinez at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on the 17th of March.
The Irishman has admitted that the Martinez fight has more than made up for the disappointing loss to Sturm last year.
"I was very disappointed not to get the decision against Sturm but this is the silver lining. Everyone in America saw that and they were way more outrage than we were in England or Ireland. Maybe because they love the aggression side of boxing which I showed. Most people in America barely had Sturm even winning three rounds.
"It was good to get rewarded with this fight because being at Madison Square Garden, on St Patrick's Day, against Martinez, on HBO, it ticks all the boxes. It's like a fairytale."
Macklin will return to former trainer Buddy McGirt for the fight and will be hoping to defeat Martinez who last lost in 2009. Speaking about McGirt, Macklin said:
"You want that experience in the corner and the gym too, when you're building the game plan and planning tactics for the fight."
To a certain extent I agree with Macklin's term of 'fairytale' fight. It's on his country's national day, he is fighting on HBO and he will get a lot of attention from the fight. However the 'fairytale' may start to become a nightmare if Martinez is allowed to dominate the fight. Macklin was brilliant against Sturm, and as a fan of his I was devastated he didn't win. He fought with heart and left nothing in the tank...what more can we boxing fans ask for?
Martinez however will punish Macklin if he isn't up to his best. He may even need to raise the bar higher to have any chance of beating Martinez. Darren Barker did well in spells against Martinez but he couldn't keep it up for the full twelve rounds. I expect Macklin to go in there and give Martinez everything he has got...after all he will still be very very bitter about his loss to Sturm.