Middleweight Matthew Macklin returns to the ring this month on the undercard of one of the most anticipated fights of the year.
Macklin (28-4, 19 KOs) will face Joachim Alcine (33-2-1, 19KOS) in a contest scheduled for 10 rounds before Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight for the WBC middleweight title at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on September 15.
Macklin, 30, was last in action on St. Patrick’s Day when Martinez defeated him by 11th round TKO. However, his performance that night again proved that he is one of the top middleweights in the division, and this fight against the veteran Alcine will be a huge opportunity for him to showcase his talents as he tries to maneuver himself into a spot to challenge for a world title again.
"This is a do-or-die fight for both of these guys and they are going to leave it all on the line come fight night,” said Macklin's promoter Lou DiBella recently.
Alcine is a former light middleweight titleholder who had a good win over David Lemieux in his last outing in December. At 36 he is arguably past his prime, but the pressure will be on Macklin and his trainer, Buddy McGirt, to come up with a game plan to win and look good in the process.
"It's a big opportunity for Matthew to shine and put himself right back in contention for another world title fight," said Macklin’s manager Brian Peters.
Macklin has been training at his own gym in Marbella, Spain (Macklin’s Gym Marbella) in preparation for what will be his first fight in Las Vegas.
McGirt went to Spain to work with his charge a few weeks ago, and Macklin has been sparring with Ruben Varon and Joe Selkirk. Check next week’s Irish Voice for a full preview of the fight.
In other news, Old World Boxing, helmed by Tipperary native Jim Foley, will co-promote a fight card at the Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, New York, on September 22.
Light heavyweight Joe “the Irish Bomber” Smith (10-1, 10 KOs) will fight in the main event, while Kildare native Allan Phelan (0-1) will fight on the undercard.
The featherweight, who dislocated his shoulder during his professional debut in November 2011, is now fighting fit and ready to notch up his first win in the paid ranks.
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.
Meanwhile, light middleweight Henry Coyle (18-2, 12 KOs) defeated Marcelo Alejandro Rodriguez (60-20, 43 KOs) by unanimous decision at McHale Park in Castlebar, Co. Mayo, on August 17. In doing so, he retained the WBF title he won at the same venue 12 months earlier.
Finally, light welterweight Danny O’Connor (18-1, 6 KOs) is slated to fight on September 29 on the non-televised undercard of the HBO Boxing after Dark card at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
O'Connor, who is trained by Ronnie Shields and managed by Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys, has been a busy man over the past few months, notching up a UD win over Daniel Sostre on May 24 at the House of Blues in Boson, followed by a fourth round KO victory over Eddie Soto at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts in a fight that took place after a New England Revolution MLS soccer game.
No opponent has been confirmed for the Framingham native, who has notched up four straight victories since his only loss as a professional to Gabriel Bracero in April 2011.