Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) is convinced that Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) will not be able to handle him when the two meet on March 17 at Madison Square Garden.

“I'm ready for war and whatever happens in that ring,” said the middleweight at his open media workout at the Trinity Gym in the Financial District last Wednesday.

“No matter if it goes one round or 12, I don't believe Martinez is going to be able to cope with the intensity and burning desire that I will bring into that ring with me at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick's Day.”

Macklin looked in tremendous shape three weeks out from the fight, and he was the epitome of patience and confidence in all his dealings with the assembled press on the day.

“I've had a great camp, sparring has been terrific and most of the hard work has been done at this point.  The next few weeks now are just about fine tuning and peaking for fight night,” Macklin said.

“It's been great working with Buddy (McGirt) again. He's a very knowledgeable boxing guy so it's great to soak that up.”

Macklin has been sparring with Austin Trout and Sechew Powell as he prepares to take on the southpaw Martinez, who trains out of Oxnard, California.

The Irish Voice caught up with trainer Buddy McGirt to get his take on how training has progressed.

“So far, thank God, everything is going good. We know we have to fight Sergio a certain way,” McGirt said.

“He (Macklin) is getting adjusted to the things we will have to do to beat this guy. We are taking it one step at a time and we are making progress.”

Though Macklin has not fought since last June, McGirt does not feel like the layoff will have a negative impact, and he reckons that ring rust will not be a factor.

“He is getting it out (the rust). He showed that he was getting it out last week, and each day he is showing that he is getting it out,” added the former two-time world champion.

Also present at the gym was DiBella Entertainment’s PR director Kevin Rooney, Jr., who deals withthe media by day and trains as a professional boxer by night.

Rooney (3-1, 1 KO) is fighting on the undercard on March 17, and the light middleweight will face

Anthony Shuff (0-1) in a contest scheduled for four rounds. Tickets for the Macklin/Martinez fight are available at Ticketmaster.

In other news, Andy Lee (27-1, 19 KOs) has had another change of opponent for his stay-busy fight at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.

He will now fight Alexis Camacho (17-3, 16 KOs) on Saturday night in a contest scheduled for 10 rounds at 160 pounds.

“There were about three or four opponents and every minute it was changing, but it is about getting the fight in and staying active,” Lee told the Irish Voice on Sunday.

Though Camacho has campaigned mostly at welterweight and has lost every time he has fought decent-quality opposition, Lee is taking the fight very seriously.

“There is always the fear that you underestimate your opponent. There are only a few clips on him on YouTube, and he looks like a decent fighter,” he said.

“I have done the rounds and I have done the work.

I sparred with K9 (Cornelius Bundrage), and there are three junior middleweights on the card, so I have been working with them,” added Lee.

Lee trained for this fight with Sugar Hill and his brother Roger while head trainer Emanuel Steward was working with heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko in Europe.

However, Steward has arrived back from Germany (where Klitschko KO’ed Jean Marc Mormeck on Saturday night) and he will man Lee’s corner on fight night.

The 27-year-old has heard nothing more on a possible fight against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and he will return to Ireland for a short break after this assignment.

Though Lee would not speculate on possible title fights down the line, he is adamant that he will get the big fight he says he deserves soon.

“They are avoiding me for a reason. The focus is on this week and I will see where we are after that.”

Matthew Macklin works the pads with trainer Buddy McGirt while his manager, Brian Peters, looks on ringside.Ed Diller