Middleweight Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) was in New York last week to meet with his new promoter, Lou DiBella, and plot a course that he hopes will lead him to a world title belt.
Macklin, who lost a very disputed decision to Felix Sturm when he challenged the WBA champion inCologne in June, will fight this November in Manhattan in what will be his coming out fight for the New York boxing public.
The 29-year-old was in the city with Tomas Rohan of Brian Peters Promotions to thrash out some of the details for the upcoming assignment.
Not only does Macklin, who is managed by Brian Peters, plan to fight in New York, but he will also make it his base in the coming months.
No venue or opponent has been confirmed for the November date, but Macklin will be the main feature on the card.
"I don’t care who I fight really. I fought Sturm in my last fight and I thought I beat him. I am ready for anyone,” he told the Irish Voice.
“It depends on who is available and who is willing to risk their ranking. Hopefully it will be a name that people know."
While November is the next important date on the Macklin calendar, March 2012 is the month when the Birmingham-born Irishman plans his next major challenge.
"This (November) is an introduction fight, not that I take it like that because every fight is like a world title fight -- if there is a slip up you go to the back to the queue, but Paddy’s Day will be a big fight,” he said.
Macklin has not been short of options since his stellar performance against Sturm, but he quickly decided that he wanted to head to the U.S. to move to the next level of his career, coming over here a week after the fight to broker a deal with DiBella.
"The only thing I don’t have is the belt. I proved myself and I justified my position in the world rankings to the big hitters in the sport,” he said.
When he signed the contract with DiBella, a fight with WBC Diamond middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, another DiBella-promoted fighter, was discussed.
"All going well here and if Martinez can beat Barker, which he definitely should, then he (DiBella) does not see why that could not happen -- unless Martinez can get a fight with Mayweather. But certainly within the middleweight division I would be the number one contender,” Macklin feels.
Signing with DiBella also means that Macklin shares the same promoter as Andy Lee, and a fight down the line with the Limerick native is not out of the question.
"As long as I can keep winning and as long as Andy can keep winning, somewhere down the line you imagine our paths will cross, hopefully for a world title," he added.
"I wouldn’t like to fight him because I like Andy and I am friendly with him, but if it is for a world title and if it makes sense, then it makes sense."
The rematch with Sturm was touted for a while, but Macklin said the deal they offered him would have tied him down to the German promoters for years and was beyond derisory.
"If it wasn't so comical it would be an insult," he said.
Though boxing dominates his life, for the next few weeks at least another sport will rival it for his attention -- hurling.
A former underage hurler for Tipperary, Macklin intends to be in Croke Park on September 4 to see his county men try and win back-to-back All-Ireland titles against Kilkenny.
For now, Macklin hopes that boxing fans and the Irish community in New York will give him a good welcome later in the year.
"I hope the Irish fans come out like they supported John Duddy and all the other fighters over the years," he said.
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