Matthew Macklin believes a dazzling performance in his Las Vegas debut will help set up another chance at world title glory, as he fights live this Saturday on the undercard of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs. Sergio Martinez card.
The Irish middleweight star has fallen just short of claiming a world title on two occasions when he lost a contentious split decision against Felix Sturm last year, and was stopped in the 11th round against skilled Argentine Sergio Martinez back in March.
He now fights on the undercard of Martinez’s eagerly anticipated clash with WBC middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. And should he come through his test with Canadian Joachim Alcine this weekend, at the sold out Thomas & Mack Center, he has his eyes firmly fixed on facing the winner of the main event.
“My fight with Martinez was an entertaining one, it was a good fight and was very close. With a good performance here I think it will land me another world title shot. I think that’s probably a lot of the reason they’ve got me on this card – they’re laying down the next opponent,” said Macklin.
“I was ahead when I fought against Martinez – I was three up on one card going into the 11th and only a round down on the other two but he put me down twice, he didn’t stop me, my trainer stopped the fight,” he said.
“If Chavez was to win it I think stylistically, that would suit me more. But either way I’d like to have a crack at the winner,” Macklin said.
The man known as ‘The Tipperary Tornado’, goes into the fight with a record of 28 wins from 32 fights and is adamant, however, that he cannot overlook former champion Alcine.
“It’s not a case of he’s 35, he’s been world champion and he’s here to make the numbers up, he has his own ambitions. He produces a win against me then he’s going to get a world title shot so he’s got as much to play for as I have,” he said.
“It’s very much a case of staying focused and not looking past Alcine, putting in a good performance and getting a good win. The risks are high in this fight but the rewards are high also,” said Macklin.
Though this will be the 30-year-old’s first time fighting under the Las Vegas lights he believes his past experiences around big championship bouts will help him.
“I’m really looking forward to fighting in Las Vegas – I’ve been to many fights there. I was in Ricky Hatton’s entourage in camp when he fought there numerous times in 2007, like the Jose Luis Castillo fight at the Thomas & Mack Center. So I’ve been around the big fight scene and I know what to expect from a buzz point of view,” he said.
“It’s nice that I’m finally getting there myself and on such a big card, and a big card for the middleweight division, “ he added.