FOR now Matthew Macklin has to leave Croke Park to the likes of good friend and Tipperary hurling star Lar Corbett and the like.
However, the former Irish, British and European champion, who had Croker dreams when he wore the blue and gold of Tipperary at underage level, still has GAA headquarters ambitions.
The three time world title challenger, who is on a mission to bring big time boxing back to Dublin starting with an August 30 National Stadium hosted World title eliminator also wants to bring a World title back to the capital and put it on the line in Croke Park.
“For me, fighting in Croke Park is the ultimate dream,” said Macklin.
“You go from hurling for Tipperary from under-14 to under-16 to having fought in Madison Square Garden on Paddy’s Day against Sergio Martinez, which was pretty special – and would have been more had I won.
“Those are things you want to achieve when you start your career.
“But the ultimate dream for me would be fighting there or defending a world title at Croke Park. I never got to play there as a hurler in the end after I focused on boxing.”
New promoter also has Croke Park ambitions, but did admit he likes to dream big. Macklin agreed a number of things would have to fall into place for the dream to be realized.
“The thing with boxing is, you really just don’t know,” said Macklin
“Coming back to the Stadium, it holds just over 2,000 but it sold out in just over 10-15 minutes. That shows there’s a big appetite for it and my profile has risen.
“I’ve fought for the world title three times, won the European title – your profile and credibility rises. This is going to be a tough fight against Heiland but I’m confident that I’ll beat him.
“Then let’s say the Lee fight does happen, it packs out the O2, could it be a rematch? Maybe. You just don’t know what fights will come about.
“Maybe if I go over to America, win a world title and the right opponent was involved then maybe Croke Park is a possibility.”