By Jonny Stapleton
Ricky Hatton admits close friend Matthew Macklin will be an underdog going into a fight with WBC Diamond champion Sergio Martinez, but warned the Argentine Macklin is an underdog that will bite back.
Irish middleweight, Macklin has yet to officially announce a fight with the Pound for Pound number 3, but a March 17 title clash between the pair is world boxing’s worst kept secret.
Martinez, who has Floyd Mayweather aspirations, is an ageing fighter but remains world class and is heavily favoured to retain his title. However former two weight world champion Hatton believes ’Mack The Knife’ can cut it at world level and has every chance of causing an upset.
The Hitman believes the former British and European champion excels when people doubt him and believes he produces his best form when he is up against it.
Hatton- who himself has Pound for Pound fight experience having challenged both Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao- says the Birmingham born fighter of Irish decent will draw inspiration from his controversial loss to WBA Champion Felix Sturm, who the Hatton Promoted Martin Murray drew with last weekend.
The British fan favourite also suggested Macklin will also gain confidence after seeing how well a fighter he doesn’t particularly like, Darren Barker did against ‘Maravilla’.
“Matthew finds himself in the same situation as he did against Sturm,” Hatton told Mirror Sport. “He was underdog that night but went and proved he belongs at world level. It was a close fight and when its close and in Germany you are never going to get the decision. He now has a wonderful chance against Martinez, but he is underdog again. Matthew will revel in that and has always excelled when he isn’t quite as fancied as usual and he can do it again if that fight is made for March 17. He will be confident after the display he put in against Sturm. Not to mention he has seen Darren Barker do well against Martinez and he will draw inspiration from that.”