2 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Claims that contract issues have forced Matthew Macklin to pull out of his WBA world title eliminator with Khoren Gevor were labelled a ridiculous lie by the Armenians manager Peter Schuke.
The mouth-watering middleweight clash was confirmed cancelled by co-promoter Ricky Hatton on Thursday, with contractual issues being cited as the reason the Birmingham-born fighter of Irish decent decided to withdraw. Such claims were rubbished by Schuke, however. The German-based manager revealed that an agreement to fight in the MEN Arena on the Amir Khan-Paul McCloskey undercard was reached in record time and both parties were more than happy to sign a terms back in March.
Schuke also stressed he had yet to get official word of the bouts demise and said former world title challenger Gevor is still preparing for an April 16 clash with Macklin. Rumours are rife that a potential world title fight with WBA champ Felix Sturm is the real motivation behind the former EBU champions withdrawal. However, according to Schuke, that is also unlikely as the April 16 clash was contracted as WBA title eliminator.
Gevors manager exclusively told www.irish-boxing.com that he believes Macklin is once again avoiding his fighter and outside of injury, fear of defeat is the only reason the Golden Boy fighter would pull out.
I have not received any official conformation the fight is off. I have just seen and read what everyone else has. I tried to get Hatton Promotions and have yet to get a reply. Let me say this though, there is no issues regarding contracts, said Schuke.
We both signed a contract back in March with no issues or problems. In fact, all contract issues were sorted in three days, that is a very quick time in boxing. If there are contract issues they can only be between Matthew and his promoter Golden Boy. To suggest there are contract problems is ridiculous, Schuke added before stressing Macklin just didnt want to challenge his charge.
This is the second time Matthew pulled out of a fight with Gevor. I think he doesnt want to fight him. Gevor is a stinker for any man to face and Macklin knows that. He is afraid. To say it is contract related is a lie. It is the second time he has pull out of a fight with Gevor. He pulled out of an EBU fight and now this world title eliminator. The only reason I can think is fear.
Schuke also intimated that if the Brian Peters-managed fighter had indeed secured a world title tilt they would be willing to step aside once financial compensation was paid.
I dont see how they can pull out to fight Sturm. An agreement is made already. I will talk to the WBA about that, but if that is the case what can we do? We are preparing for this fight on April 16 and have being paying the expenses of a training camp. If they pay us not to fight maybe then we would clear the way. We really want this fight and I can promise Macklin lots of problems on the night if the fight goes ahead.
Felix Sturms team declined to comment at this moment in time, but told www.irish-boxing.com that they would have an announcement regarding a next opponent in the coming weeks.