Matthew Macklin (24-2) produced a sensational performance to overpower Wayne Elcock in three rounds at the Aston Events Centre in Birmingham and become the new British middleweight champion on Saturday night.
Macklin, whose parents are from Tipperary and Roscommon and who has represented Tipperary in hurling at all levels except senior, entered the ring in green and gold trunks.
Macklin and Elcock sized each other up in the first round, and the 35-year-old champion might have taken the stanza on the judges’ cards, even though it seemed Macklin was the more aggressive. In round two Macklin forced the pace and landed a triple jab right combination that alerted Elcock to his power, easily taking the round in the process.
In round three that power told when an overhand right had Elcock in all kinds of trouble. Elcock buckled to the canvas after Macklin’s subsequent charge. Though Elcock beat the count, Macklin was in for the kill and referee Victor Loughlin stopped the contest with 0:59 left in the round.
“I have been frustrated and I have had a few setbacks, but I think everyone will agree that that was a pretty spectacular performance. I am now British champion and I am very proud,” said Macklin after the fight.
“I am world class and I am ready for anyone,” continued Macklin. “In ten or twelve months I will fight the best and beat the best. I could fight the best now and more than hold my own, but I want to fight the best when I am ready. I want to be world champion and this is just a stepping stone for me.”
Ambitious words indeed, but fighters are only as good as their last fight and Macklin was very impressive Saturday night, and now has even more reason to celebrate this St. Patrick’s weekend.