Middleweight Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) reinforced his reputation as one of the best fighters in the 160-pound division with a clinical first round stoppage of Joachim Alcine (33-3-1, 19 KOs) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas last Saturday night.
Macklin, who was fighting on the Sergio Martinez/Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. undercard that was televised on HBO PPV, entered the ring clad in green to the sound of the “Rocky Road to Dublin” blaring in the background. Waiting for him was Alcine, the 36-year-old who had only tasted defeat twice in a 13-year professional career.
The first half of the opening round was tentative, with both men moving and feinting, and Macklin the only one willing to engage. The Irishman from Birmingham soon started to throw more shots as Alcine strolled around the ring. The Haitian-Canadian paid for his reticence to fight when Macklin caught him with a crushing overhand right that sent him to the canvas.
Alcine took an eight-count from referee Jay Nady but was in serious trouble as Macklin went to finish the fight. More Macklin pressure punctuated by a left hook had Alcine down again shortly after.
When the pair resumed fighting, Macklin forced Alcine into the corner and rained down a succession of punches -- including two devastating body shots -- that convinced Nady to intervene and call a halt to the fight.
"It's great to literally bounce back with a bang. I felt very sharp in the changing room before hand and had a great camp for the fight so I went in there nice and relaxed and once I dropped him with the first right hand I could see he was gone and it was only a matter of time before I'd get the stoppage," said Macklin.
On Monday, the Irish Voice caught up with Mack the Knife's manager, Brian Peters, to get his reaction on what was a great weekend for team Macklin.
"Mathew is such an exciting fighter and is genuine in and out of the ring," said Peters, who went on to say that Macklin now has a lot of options in front of him.
In the main event, Martinez schooled Chavez for 11 rounds but was nearly knocked out in the final stanza. The Argentinean was able to survive and won a lopsided unanimous decision. However, it was revealed after the fight that Martinez broke his left arm in the fourth round.
"I think my stock has also risen as outside of the last round Martinez pretty much gave Chavez a boxing lesson while for nine rounds in my fight with Martinez there was very little between us and I was actually ahead on the scorecards at that point," said Macklin.
The late resurgence from Chavez immediately sparked talk of a rematch. Peters told the Voice that the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas was mentioned as the possible venue. "There is talk that Martinez and Chavez could rematch there and Macklin/Geale could be on the undercard,” said Peters.
The Geale in question is the IBF and WBA super champion Daniel Geale, who recently defeated Felix Sturm in Germany and who was in attendance at the fight.
However, Peters acknowledged that the "injuries have thrown everything up in the air," and there is one alternative that his team would like to explore.
"Matthew is an elite middleweight, and we want Geale back in the Garden," he said.
"From my point of view it makes a lot of sense for him to defend his titles against me. He has yet to appear on U.S. television and my last three fights have been on U.S. TV so I think it's a great match-up and I'm confident that I would finally get my hands on the world title if that fight can be made," said Macklin.
Peters went on to say the big picture for Macklin is to try and get another shot at Martinez. However, to do so, Macklin would have to win a world title belt first, and though they would prefer Geale in New York, if they have to fight WBA regular champion Gennady Golovkin or the winner of the WBO title fight between Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam and Peter Quillin, they are up for any of the belt holders.
“We have to pick up a belt to get back in the mix with Martinez,” said Peters.
In the meantime, Peters is content to “let the dust settle a bit” after his fighter’s explosive return to winning ways at the weekend.
In other news, Kildare native Allen Phelan (0-1) is slated to fight at the Resorts World Casino in Queens this Saturday night.
The featherweight, who is trained by Victor Roundtree, will fight Micah Branch (0-2) in a contest scheduled for four rounds.
Also in action on the night is light heavyweight Joe “The Irish Bomber” Smith (10-1, 10 KOs), who will fight Yasin Rashid (7-2, 2 KOs) in a contest scheduled for eight rounds.
Old World Boxing is co-promoting the card with New Legend Boxing and W.O.N Promotions. Tickets are available by calling 718-765-1860 or visiting www.newlegendboxing.com.