Earlier today, before a standing-room only crowd of media at Ainsworth Prime inside Madison Square Garden, Lou DiBella officially announced his St. Patrick’s Day card (Saturday, March 17th) that will take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Headlining the show will be THE REAL Middleweight Champion “Maravilla” Martinez (48-2-2, 27KO’s) defending his crown against top-rated Irish middleweight contender, Matthew “Mack The Knife” Macklin (28-3, 19KO’s). You can view pictures and quotes from the event here.
The card which will be aired live on HBO’s “World Championship Boxing”, will also feature Ireland’s fellow world-rated contender, Andy Lee (27-1, 19KO’s) as well as a stacked undercard of some of the New York City and tri-state area’s most promising and exciting Irish fighters. The card entitled, “THE REAL Middleweight Championship – Get Your Irish Up“, is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and will be shown live on HBO beginning 10PM ET/7PM PT.
“I want to thank everyone involved who made this fight possible; HBO, Madison Square Garden, our sponsor Corona, and, of course who I believe to be two of the best middleweights in the world, Sergio Martinez and Matthew Macklin,” said DiBella. “On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, at Madison Square Garden, the best middleweight in the world, and The Real Middleweight Champion, Sergio Martinez will be defending his crown against a very tough, dangerous and exciting fighter in Matthew Macklin. I can truthfully say that I am proud to be the promoter of this main event and proud to be putting on what promises to be such an exciting night at The Garden. This (MSG) is the Mecca of boxing and it will continue to be the Mecca of boxing in 2012 and beyond, and will always remain the home of DiBella Entertainment.”
DiBella continued, “The great thing about this fight is that both of these guys are such exciting fighters with so much heart and pride, stylistically it is a can’t-miss.”
Kery Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming at HBO Sports, echoed DiBella’s statements.
“It’s always great to televise an event from MSG,” said Davis. They have been terrific partners with us and they have been a real champion for the sport of boxing. New York City brings a certain amount of excitement and electricity to a fight and we are excited about doing the fight here. Combine the fact that we are doing it on such a special day as St. Patricks’s and you have all the ingredients for a great night of boxing.”
Davis continued, “Sergio Martinez has become must-see television and he is recognized as The Middleweight Champion of the World. Inside the ring Sergio realizes that not only is it important to win, but to win entertainingly which is great for boxing but outside of the ring is really where the magic begins with Sergio. Not only is he handsome and intelligent but he is a great humanitarian and we couldn’t be happier to have him as one of the faces of HBO Boxing.”
DiBella promised to load the undercard with a number of top Irish fighters, including the world-rated contender Andy Lee, and New York’s very popular undefeated prospect, Seanie Monaghan (10-0, 7KO’s).
NYC Presser for Martinez vs. Macklin: Pictures
SERGIO MARTINEZ: I want to thank HBO and my team DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Lewkowicz. I also want to thank Macklin for taking this fight. I am dedicating this fight to my family and to everyone who dedicate there time to fight against domestic violence. Thank you for coming and thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing you at my fight on March 17.
MATTHEW MACKLIN: I want to thank everyone involved making this fight, especially Sergio for giving me this opportunity.
As I have done throughout my entire career I will go up a notch for this fight. Sergio is going to bring the best out of me and I am very confident in my mind that I will be the new middleweight champion come March 17th. Fighting at The Garden on St. Patty’s Day it’s going to be like I’m fighting in Dublin. The Irish are coming from all over the world to see this. The atmosphere is going to be electric!
It is an honor to have the opportunity to fight here at MSG where so many great fights have taken place. I am proud and privileged to be a part of this great tradition.
Sergio is going to have to be ready. I am coming forward all night and I am coming for war. I am very very confident that I will be leaving the ring on March 17th at the new champion.
ANDY LEE: I want to thank Lou for letting me showcase myself on this show. There is nothing more I can wish for then to have this opportunity to fight at MSG on St Patrick’s Day.
I consider myself as a serious contender and I hope to get my title shot in 2012. (Note: DiBella would later promise Lee that he would receive his title shot this year). I’m not sure who my opponent is going to be yet, but I promise you a good St. Patty’s Day beating.
SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ: This will be the real middleweight champion of the world. I have said for a long-time that the Irish are the European Mexicans. They have so much heart and no fear and that will be on display on what is going to be an extremely good and exciting fight on March 17th.
Tickets are priced at $505, $355, $205, $125 and $65 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased through the Madison Square Garden Box Office or through Ticketmaster, at ticketmaster.com, or call (800) 745-3000. Call DiBella Entertainment at (212) 947-2577, or visit www.dbe1.com and @loudibella on Twitter for more information.