Middleweight Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19kos) has signed a contract with New York based-promoter Lou DiBella. Macklin, who lost a very controversial decision to WBA world champion Felix Sturm in June, looks set to fight again soon in the U.S. after a couple of fights stateside early in his career. There are tentative plans for the 29-year-old to fight in November on this side of the pond.
“I'm looking forward to November. We'll see who's available and get the ball rolling and then look for a Martinez fight or a Sturm rematch,” said Macklin of his immediate future.
DiBella did not think twice about signing the Birmingham-based, Joe Gallagher-trained fighter.
"I have Sergio Martinez, the real middleweight champ, the best in the world. But clearly Matthew handled Sturm with ease and he has a claim at being the second-best middleweight in the world. He's going to want a shot at Sergio and eventually that will make sense,” said DiBella.
Speculation is rife that Macklin could fight Martinez next St. Patrick's Day in New York, but it seems that the controversial loss in June has actually sent his stock soaring on both sides of the Atlantic.
Sturm is keen to rematch as soon as possible, but Macklin’s decision to sign with an American promoter suggests that he wants to enter the middleweight fray over here.
With Macklin's signing, DiBella now has several prominent middleweights, including Andy Lee and Brian Vera and the aforementioned Martinez, on his books. With all these fighters under the one promotional banner, possible matchups between them are very probable in the future.
Lee and Vera already have their rematch set for October 1, and when asked on his Twitter account if he would put Lee against Macklin down the line, DiBella tweeted “sure” as long as the Irishman defeated the Texan in Atlantic City.
Meanwhile, Kevin McBride (35-10-1, 29 KOs) was KO’ed by Poland’s Mariusz Wach (25-0, 12 KOs) in the fourth round of their fight at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut on July 29.
McBride came into the fight at 296 pounds, the heaviest weight of his career, and struggled to keep up with the younger and more active Polish fighter.
Wach pressured McBride throughout the fight, and in the fourth round he ended proceedings when he threw a quick jab following by a thundering right that had McBride out on his feet.
The Irishman fell very heavily to the canvas and lay motionless for some time before being eventually being taken out of the ring on a stretcher.
Meanwhile, light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (8-0) continued his winning ways as a professional on July 30 when he KO’ed Brian Bernard (10-9-2) after 1:27 of the first round at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn.
In Ireland, light middleweight Henry Coyle (16-2, 12 KOs) defeated Elio Cotena (18-6-5, 4 KOs) at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar for the vacant WBF light middleweight title last Friday night. The Chicago-based Mayo native dominated proceedings against the Italian, and Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny was reportedly present to cheer on his fellow county man.
Finally, heavyweight Tom Hardwick is slated to fight next on September 23 at the Cordon Bleu in Woodhaven. No opponent has been confirmed as of yet.
Hardwick was last in action on July 16 when he TKO'ed Rodelle Bolar in the second round of their fight at the Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.