Matthew Macklin (28-2, 19 KOs) will try to fulfill a lifelong dream when he challenges Felix Sturm (35-2-1, 15 KOs) for the WBA middleweight title in Cologne, Germany, this Saturday night.

Macklin, a former Irish, British and two-time European middleweight title holder, feels he has paid his dues and is ready to take his place on the world stage.

"When I turned pro a lot was expected of me and after 10 years some people are still watching and waiting for me to win a world title,” Macklin told the Mirror this week. "Sturm's a good champion and a great pro. He's been in hard fights and made hard fights look easy.”

Though Macklin has much respect for the German, he feels that the champion may be making a fatal mistake. "I think that there is just a chance that he has taken me a bit lightly and that will be perfect on the night. I'm prepared for the fight of my life and I'll have to produce my best performance ever. He probably thinks that I'm an easy touch.”

For his part, Sturm says he is not treating the former underage Tipperary hurler lightly, and sees a chink in Macklin’s armor. "I don't underestimate my opponents. Macklin is the European champion, but he has problems when he starts to move,” said Sturm, according to “Then he needs to take a break, but I won't allow him to have one. He is especially sensitive to the body, so I know exactly where I'm going to hit him." 

In other news, Jersey City lightweight Danny McDermott (8-3) will fight Mauricio Pastrana (35-16-2) at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta on July 16 for the vacant IBU lightweight title, according to “It's an amazing opportunity, it's a once in a lifetime shot that I didn't think would come this soon," said the 32-year-old McDermott recently. "I'm just going to train hard and try to make the best of it and become a world champion.”

Mark Medal, a former IBF junior middleweight champion, is training McDermott for the big fight.  Also slated to feature on the same card is cruiserweight Bobby Gunn (21-4-1).  An opponent for Gunn has yet to be confirmed.

Lightweight Jamie Kavanagh (6-0, 2 KOs) is back in action this Thursday at Club Nokia in Los Angeles in a fight scheduled for six rounds. The 20-year-old, who trains at the Wild Card Gym under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, has been busy gaining experience and building up his record as a professional. 

The Dubliner was last in action on March 16 when he defeated Sid Razak by unanimous decision at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester. An opponent for this week’s assignment had not been confirmed as of press time.

Old World Booing’s Jim Foley will co-promote a boxing show this Friday night at the Cordon Bleu in Woodhaven, Queens.  The show was to feature heavyweight Tom Hardwick (1-0, 1 KO), but an injury sustained in his debut win against Derek Walker forced the Dubliner to pull out.

“It is a co-promotion with New Legend Boxing, Kevin Sullivan and Felipe Gomez. Unfortunately Tom Hardwick is not on the card due to the cut he received at the May 19 show,” Foley told the Irish Voice this week via e-mail. However, supporters of the all-action Hardwick will not have to wait too long to see him back in the squared circle.

“Thomas Hardwick is next scheduled to fight July 16 at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City,” added Foley.  “It will be (called) the ‘Brawl on the Boardwalk.’ We hope the Irish fans will make the trip down to support Tom.”
More to come on Hardwick’s preparations for his next fight in the coming weeks. 

For tickets to the card at the Cordon Bleu this Friday night, call Old World Boxing on 718-765-1860.

Matthew Macklin