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Matthew Macklin on how he’s coping and a New York trip cut short due to coronavirus concerns

The former middleweight contender turned analyst talks about how what it’s like where he is during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Boxing at Manchester Arena Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Here in Brooklyn, New YOrk, people are adapting. Some doing better than others, but all in all, the regular Joes and Janes seem to be performing better, in many cases, than some of the elected “leaders.”

New York as of today is a very different place. Maybe you saw photos or footage of Times Square, typically a zoo of persons and sights and sounds; right now, a virtual ghost town as compared to BC (Before Coronavirus).

And similar scenes are taking place the world over. So I’m checking in with boxing people in different necks of the woods, to see the situation where they are, and how they are dealing with this current reality.

Matthew Macklin, former fighter, now works as an analyst for Sky. Age 37, he is living in Birmingham, England, and he stepped away from the ring in 2016 with a 35-6 record.

I asked Matt how he is doing, what his life is like right now.

“I was in New York but cut my trip short to get back because everything was closing in NYC, and I didn’t want to end up not being able to get back,” he told me early Monday evening.

“So as of now we (Sky) have a card on Friday night, but the government here have tightened up on their advice regarding social distancing so I’d say it’s 50/50 at best if it still goes ahead and if it does there will definitely be no crowd,” he continued. (Indeed; that card has been postponed).

English residents were hearing the chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, say he expected a majority of Britons to contract the virus, but that might not be so bad, because it would would create “herd immunity” in the population, which could prevent the coronavirus from returning with a vengeance after it petered out. That “herd immunity” theory has now been struck from the record.

I know the vibe in Brooklyn, in my hood, but haven’t left this area in a few days, trying not to be out and about. What about Matt? Is he homebound? What is the degree of worry there?

“Things definitely got cranked up (Monday),” Macklin told me. “The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) had a press conference really pushing social distancing in a big way. Most things are closing, especially public events, a few schools have closed, people that can work from home are being told to do so.”

And how were people there taking in the “herd immunity” theory?

“That’s been dismissed and now they’re pushing social distancing in a big way today. I think (Tuesday) more things will be getting canceled.”

We processed this whole deal a bit. If people had started distancing before we had a case, then that would have been the smartest. But people need to be kicked in the teeth sometimes to get it through their thick heads, I noted.

“I know,” Macklin replied.

So, by and large, are people in your proximity resigned to it, or are some defiant? (Maybe you all have seen the pics or footage of beach-goers in Florida, spring breakers feeling immune to the impact and potential for consequences, swapping hugs, spit, sweat, and bacteria.)

“I think today will have changed things for some people, but I think others are and will continue to carry on as if it’s not even happening,” he said.

So how does Macklin cope? Does it give him massive anxiety? Does he wear a mask out and about?

“No, not really. I mean, I’m gonna heed the warnings and stay at home as much as possible but I’m not gonna worry about it!”

In other words, he will control what he can, and let the rest go. Smart advice.

Hey, what about you? Email me at, tell me where you live, and what the situation is there. I will insert some of those responses into future columns.

To all good people, be well!

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