Middleweight Matthew Macklin (29-5, 20 KOs) has severed his ties with long-time manager Brian Peters and will now take counsel from Anthony Catanzaro, who also counts former two–time, two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi among his clients.
The Irish Voice caught up with Tomas Rohan from Brian Peters Promotions over the weekend, and he confirmed that Macklin had moved on.
“Brian and Matthew have parted ways, but it was all completely amicable and they remain on the best of terms. We enjoyed a great eight years with Matthew and wish him nothing but the very best," Rohan told the Voice on Sunday.
Macklin has now decided that it would be best to have Catanzaro, who is based in New York City, to help direct the next phase of his boxing career. The Irish Voice caught up with Macklin’s new advisor on Monday to get his take on his new charge.
"He just hired me one month ago," Catanzaro said, adding that he was happy to take on a fighter who was willing to fight anyone in his division and willing to travel anywhere to do so.
When asked if he thought Macklin still had the hunger to regroup and try and get a fourth tilt at a world title, Catanzaro was unequivocal. "He absolutely does; otherwise we would not have taken this journey with him,” he replied.
Macklin, who is coming off a tough defeat to Gennady Golovkin on June 29, is at a critical juncture in his career. He has challenged for a world title three times. He lost a controversial decision to Felix Sturm in June 2011, gave Sergio Martinez a good fight on St. Patrick’s night in 2012 before being retired after the 11th round, and was outclassed and knocked out by Golovkin in the third round of their fight two months ago.
In between the Martinez and Golovkin title shots, Macklin scored a first round KO win over Joachim Alcine which reestablished his credentials as a bona fide contender on the 160-pound division. He is at that same point again, where he needs a significant win against a solid opponent to keep his name in the mix.
“Mack the Knife” now believes that the combination of promoter Lou DiBella and Catanzaro is the one best equipped to plot his course back to getting another crack at fulfilling his dream of winning a world title.
"The next step is crucial. We have to be on U.S. TV. We have to win, and we have to do so looking good," said Catanzaro, who added there is one fighter he would have no problem seeing his new charge face in the ring. "We would love Gabriel Rosado, and we would love to make that fight."
Rosado is a tough light middleweight who made the jump up to 160 pounds to fight Golovkin last January (his corner stopped the fight in the seventh round). He was last in action on May 5 when he dropped a tight split decision to J’Leon Love on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather/Roberto Guerrero fight. However, that decision was overturned to a no-contest after Love tested positive for a banned substance.
Irish fight fans might remember Rosado from his shock 2008 win over the then unbeaten James Moore in Brooklyn. A Rosado/Macklin fight, given both men’s tendency to fight, could be a very entertaining affair, but no matter who Macklin fights, he has to win to stay relevant in the middleweight division.
The Irish Voice reached out to Macklin for comment on all the latest goings on in his camp, but there was no response before press time. That said, Macklin recently told his Twitter followers that it looked like he could make his ring return in November.
In other news, light welterweight Danny O'Connor (22-1, 7 KOs) is back in action on September 12 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. The 28-year-old from Framingham, MA, has no confirmed opponent.
The fight card is the 12th annual "Fight to Educate" benefit, which raises funds for non-profit organizations in the New Hampshire area. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster, and for more information about the cause, visit www.fight2educate.com.
Finally, Conor McGregor's unanimous win over Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night 26 at the TD Garden on August 17 was tempered by the fact that a knee injury sustained in the second round will keep him out of action for 10 months.
The Dubliner dominated the first round of action but picked up the knock in the second, which forced him to change tactics. He still held on for a dominant victory, but he told Joe Rogan in the Octagon afterwards that his knee was bothering him after an awkward move in the second round. Tests on the injury came back last week and revealed significant ligament damage.
McGregor hopes to return when the UFC heads to Ireland for an event in the fall of 2014.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore