Matthew Macklin exclusive interview: Ready to make it a St. Patrick’s Day to remember
‘Mack the Knife’ talks to IrishCentral ahead of Martinez Clash
As he prepares for the biggest fight of his career, star Irish middleweight Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin speaks with IrishCentral Community News about Tipperary hurling, his training regime at his New York base, and how exactly he plans to deal with the man considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.
Macklin (29) meets WBC “Diamond” champion Sergio Martinez (37) at Madison Square Garden on March 17 in a fight which will be beamed across the world via HBO and Sky Sports.
Here's the full interview with Macklin:
When and why did you move to New York?
I've been living in New York now since last September. My last fight took place in Germany in June 2011 against Felix Sturm for the WBA World title and it was shown on the Epix network in the US. A lot of people saw that fight over here so it meant that US boxing fans got to see that I got a raw deal from the judges. That led to me signing a deal with the New York-based promoter, Lou DiBella, shortly after the fight. With that in place I wanted to relocate to New York and start to build a following here and give people the kind of nights they enjoyed when John Duddy was selling out venues in New York on a regular basis a few years back.
My first sporting love was actually hurling. Even though I grew up in Birmingham my dad who is from Four Roads in Roscommon was a hurling fanatic and my mum hails from Tipperary, where hurling is basically a religion, so from the age of about two I was always messing about with a hurley. I used to go back to Ireland for the summer when I would have my school holidays and played regularly back there. I was quite decent and would have played underage hurling with a lot of the lads on the current Tipp panel.
Actually just last week Eoin Kelly, who was the Tipperary captain when they won the All-Ireland in 2010, sent me a team photo from an under-18s South Final back in 1997. That brought back great memories. I was playing for Ballingarry although I was actually only 15 at the time, and it was during the school year so the club paid to fly me over from Birmingham for the final, which was a really big deal for me at the time. We were up against against Eoin's team, Mullinahone in the final and there was real rivalry there. There was a lot of local pride at stake because the two parishes are only a few miles apart. We beat them by two points that day and I scored three so I always give him a bit of slagging over that because Eoin, his brother Paul and another guy, Paul Curran, were on the Mullinahone team and would eventually go on to win All-Ireland hurling medals for Tipp at senior level.
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