Irish support will inspire not faze Martinez

Jonny Stapleton

Sergio Martinez admits he will be the away fighter when he defends his Ring Magazine middleweight world title against Matthew Macklin on St Patrick’s Day, but warned he produces his best when he enters a hostile environment.

New York’s MSG would at first glance appear a neutral ground for the eagerly anticipated war between the Argentite and his Irish counterpart, but the Irish factor will ensure Macklin will have substantially more support than the Pound for Pound number 3.

Maravilla is under no illusions and knows Irish fight fans will be out in force in a bid to inspire ‘Mack The Knife’ to the greatest win of his career. However, the man billed as the ‘Real Middleweight Champion’ warned the crowd being against him only ensures Macklin will be up against it come fight night.

“I have been fighting away from home for ten years now. I’m used to it and I enjoy fighting in a hostile environment,” Martinez told Mirror Sport. “I know there will be lots of Irish fans there so it could be a home atmosphere for Mackin. However some of my best fights have come when I had to travel and when the crowd were against me. When I fought in Spain and Northern Ireland I produced two of my best displays and I am sure it will be the same again on March 17.”

Although Macklin and Martinez were rumoured to be fighting each other since last November the bout was not officially announced until this month.

Potential mega money fights with the likes Flyod Mayweather and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr delayed the best middleweight in the world’s final decision.

Sergio Martinez not looking past Macklin

However despite the aforementioned and some very public Chavez attacks, Martinez claims his focus is now solely on the former European champion.

“I am not at all distracted. I am 100% concentrated and focused on the fight with Macklin. Macklin is a very strong boxer. He is very hard and knows how to step in the ring and put up a good fight. That’s why I’m looking forward to what I know will be a very difficult challenge. I don’t want to fight Chavez Jr now, because in my opinion he is a total coward. What matters to me is the recognition I get from real boxing fans around the world”
Martinez is favourite going into the fight, but Macklin stressed last week that he would stop his Lou DiBella stable mate if he reproduces the form he showed against Darren Barker last time out.

Despite stopping the English fighter Martinez did admit he wasn’t at is best, but put it down to an arm injury.
“I had a very serious injury in my arm from round number two on. Baker wasn’t underestimated, it was just the circumstances of my injury.”

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