By Jonny Stapleton
ANTHONY Fitzgerald has offered to give Matthew Macklin the Sergio Martinez warm up fight he craves, but believes he is a risk the Irish world contender won’t take.
‘Mack The Knife’ looks set for a March 17 shot at the best middleweight in the world, but was hoping to keep the ring rust away with a fight over Christmas. The former British and
European champion was linked with Ronald Hearns and some other lesser know American based middleweight names, but nothing concrete materialised.
Macklin, who gained world wide notoriety if not the WBA middleweight world title when he was robbed in Germany after an all action bout with Felix Strum, is said to be excited about the prospect of challenging again, but a little frustrated he hasn’t secured an warm up bout.
WBA world number 13 Fitzgerald is eager to help and has offered his services as an opponent. ‘The Pride’ sang from the anywhere, anytime hymn sheet, but is not confident the fight will be made.
“I hear Matthew wants a warm up bout, but can’t seem to get an opponent. Well I am willing to fight him. It would be a massive fight. Two Irish middleweights who like to go at it. What more do you want?” Fitzgerald explained. “I would fight wherever he wanted. I like Matthew and I think he beat Sturm and should be world champion, but I think I can beat him. I am confident in my own ability and I think I could grab my chance and move into world title reckoning. If Matthew wants a warm up fight I urge Lou DiBella to get in touch. They might not want to risk the Martinez fight so I might not get the call, but I again I am willing to fight him.”
The EBA middleweight and Irish super middleweight champion has been previously criticised for calling out Irish fighters with bigger reputations. He sought a fight with Andy Lee which heralded some criticism, but the Inner City Dub claims his desire to fight the best shows his ambition.
“I don’t understand that criticism. I want to fight big names. Do they want me to fight journey men? I earned my world ranking and I am looking for fights to move me up further. I will fight anyone in the world and I mean that. I am in this game to fight not to build a fake record.”