Middleweight Matthew Macklin (29-5, 20 KOs) will be trained by former opponent Jamie Moore for his December 7 fight against Willie Nelson (21-1-1, 12 KOs) in Atlantic City.
Macklin, who was linked with Joe Gallagher after parting ways with Buddy McGirt a few months back, has decided that his career will now be best served with Moore working his corner. Macklin and Moore fought on September 29, 2006, for the British light middleweight title in what was one of the best fights of that year.
Moore gave Macklin his second defeat as a professional when he knocked him out in the 10th round, but now he is tasked with guiding Macklin to victory against the tough Nelson. Macklin must win the fight to remain relevant in the middleweight division.
Macklin told the Irish Voice last weekend that he and Moore would spend the business part of their training camp at his gym in Marbella, Spain, and that the new partnership came about fortuitously.
“Yes, we head out on Monday. It kind of came out of the blue. I met up with Jamie to sign a few things for him,” he said.
“It was actually seven years to the day of our fight. We ended up having a cup of tea and started chatting about boxing and training. It wasn’t really until I came away that I started thinking more about a lot of the things we spoke about. Anyway, I phoned him and had a very open and honest chat. I think he’s the best man for the job, and I’m looking forward to training with him.”
In other news, super bantamweight Heather Hardy (6-0, 1 KO) is back in action this weekend when she takes on Laura Gomez (4-3) at the Aviator Arena in Brooklyn in a contest scheduled for eight rounds with the vacant UBF International super bantamweight title on the line. Hardy was meant to be in action in September, but that fight was called off when her opponent arrived in New York during fight week 17 pounds overweight. The 31-year-old trains under the tutelage of Devin Cormack at Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn.
“I’m all set to go for next weekend; I’ve been training my [butt] off!” Hardy told the Irish Voice on Saturday.
“Since this will be my first eight rounder, I’ve been doing eight rounds of sparring once a week with the current WBC Super Bantamweight champion Alicia Ashley. Camp has been great, and in just the few short weeks since my last fight fell through, my coach already feels like I am a different fighter.
“Gomez is an experienced fighter, and I do not take this challenge lightly. I plan to give it 110 percent out there next Saturday night.”
Meanwhile, Irish American cruiserweight Bobby Gunn has a late-career marquee fight to look forward to. Former pound-for-pound king Roy Jones, Jr. announced last week that he will fight Gunn on December 4 at the National Armory in Philadelphia in a contest scheduled for 12 rounds for the vacant WBU cruiserweight title.
Finally, Cork-based Cuban heavyweight Mike Perez (20-0, 12 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Magomed Abdusalamov at the Theater in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night on the undercard of the middleweight title fight between Gennady Golovkin and Curtis Stevens.
Perez won a brutal fight, with the judges scoring the fight 94-94, 97-92 and 97-92 in his favor.
Abdusalamov was taken to the hospital after the fight and tests revealed that he has a blood clot in his brain. He had brain surgery to remove the clot and was placed in an induced coma.