Matthew Macklin is confident he will end the long reign of Felix ’King Leonidas’ Sturm to become IRELAND’s eighteenth world champion.
He might have be billed as ‘The Pride Brittan’ in the lead up to the mega bout, but the former Irish champion is adamant he will win the WBA middleweight title for Ireland in Cologne, Germany tonight.
The Birmingham born Irish middleweight claims his accent deceives him and the first time world challenger is eager hit back at claims he plays the Irish card when it suits.
Macklin stressed there is nothing plastic about this Paddy and he represents what he deems his home country, Ireland every time he enters the ring.
Indeed Mack the Knife claims if he wasn’t cutting at world level and challenging for major boxing honours he would be collecting All Ireland medals with his beloved Tipperary.
The 29 year old Joe Gallagher trained fighter, who said he would like an all Ireland clash in Thurles with Andy Lee if he claims the belt, played underage for the Premier county.
And Macklin, who is now eager to defend titles and not his Irish roots, would love nothing more than to be paraded as Ireland’s first world champion since Bernard Dunne at this year Munster final.
“If I win this belt I will the next in a distinguished list of Irish world champions. I was born in England, but if spoke to anyone that knows me they would say I am an Irish man with an English accent. As my dad says if you are born in a stable it doesn’t make you a horse. It hurts a little bit when people question it , but I know what I am and were I come from. I have an Irish passport. I don’t consider myself English I am Irish and I plan to win the WBA middleweight title for the Irish fans,” Macklin said before reflecting on a possible hurling career.
“If I wasn’t winning world titles I think I could be collecting All Ireland medals. You don’t want to sound to cocky, but I used to get flown home to play in county finals for Ballingarry and played against Eoghan Kelly and the like.”
Macklin eventually exchanged his hurl for a pair of boxing gloves and after a long and hard journey is just 12 rounds away form becoming one of the middleweight kings of the world.
The former British and European champion is confident he can succeed were Willie Casey, Paul McCloskey and Brian Magee all failed this year and emulate the likes of Barry McGuigan, Bernard Dunne and Steve Collins.
The Brian Peters managed star stressed he will be hungrier and the fresher of the fighting duo.
Macklin claims Sturm has had is day and won’t be able to match him in the desire stakes.
“I have proved to myself I can go the trenches. I did in the fight of the decade against Jamie Moore in a British title fight never mind a world title fight. I know I can fight till I can’t stand anymore. He doesn’t like to brawl and if we can lure him in that will be great. I really feel like this shot has come at the right time for me. I am fresh at 29. I have worked to get here and had disappointments so I am hungry. He has had his success and made a lot of money. That extra desire will be in my favour and so will the freshness factor. He has been here for a long time he can’t want this more than me.”