The much-touted fight between middleweights Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) and Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) on St. Patrick’s Day in Madison Square Garden hit a potential stumbling block last week when the WBC ruled that regular champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. must fight diamond champion Martinez in his next assignment.

The decision was made at the WBC’s convention in Las Vegas last week, but both men have separate bouts planned early in 2012, with Chavez slated to be in action in early February in Texas, while Martinez is expected to fight on March 17 at Madison Square Garden.

If Martinez and Chavez and their representatives can come to an accord, then both fighters can pursue whatever fight they want.

Top Rank promotes Chavez, Jr. and Lou DiBella promotes Sergio Martinez.  DiBella also promotes Macklin and Andy Lee.

Tomas Rohan, matchmaker for Brian Peters, who manages Macklin, feels that a deal will be done that will keep Mack the Knife’s title tilt very much alive.

“We don't anticipate it throwing a major spanner in the works. Everyone is still on board for the Paddy's Day fight and I'd expect that Martinez, Chavez and the WBC will be able to come to some arrangement,” he told the Irish Voice on Monday.

A date for the purse bid for Martinez/Chavez is set for January 6, and DiBella told over the weekend that if Chavez declines the chance to fight Martinez, then the Argentinean will fight Macklin in New York on March 17.

Macklin, who left New York Wednesday to spend Christmas with his family, hopes this comes to fruition so he can return to the Big Apple in the New Year with a firm date and schedule ahead of him.

Kevin Rooney, Jr. of DiBella Entertainment confirmed "an agreement has to be made between Lou and Top Rank before any announcements can be made.”


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Martinez had a media roundtable discussion about his 2012 plans in New York on Tuesday, but that took place after press deadline for this issue of the Voice.

In other news, January promises to be a busy month for Irish fighters in New York and New Jersey.

Light heavyweight Sean Monaghan (11-0, 8 KOs) and heavyweight Tom Hardwick (3-0, 2 KOs) are slated for action on January 21 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City on a Broadway Boxing card promoted by Lou DiBella.

Also, Snooki-promoted unbeaten featherweight Patrick Hyland (24-0) will fight on a card in Atlantic City on January 28.  Hyland’s brothers, Paul and Eddie, will both fight on the undercard.

“My next fight is in Atlantic city jan (sic) 28 in Resorts hotel casino!!! Going to be a big show with @snooki and gang there," tweeted Hyland himself last week.

Cork-based Cuban boxers Luis Garcia (light heavyweight, 11-0) and Mike Perez (heavyweight, 17-0) will both fight on a card at the Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon, California, on December 30. 

Garcia will fight the undefeated Alexander Johnson (12-0) in a televised bout on ShoBox, while Perez’ opponent is

Finally, lightweight Danny McDermott (9-3-1, 4 KOs) defeated Bryan Abraham (5-10-2) by TKO in round four of their fight last Thursday at Schuetzen Park, North Bergen.