16 September 2010 – Ross Thompson-Jenkins
Matthew Macklin believes he can challenge for a world title this year after agreeing a promotional deal with Frank Warren. The 28-year-old has twice left Warrens stable but returns again after the promoter won purse bids to stage a European title fight against Darren Barker. That fight fell by the wayside after Barker was forced to pull out with injury and Macklin will now face Shalva Jomardashvili for the vacant European middleweight belt.
I dont think there are too many in this game better than Frank Warren, said Macklin. When you are talking about your Bob Arums, Don Kings and Goldenboy you have to talk about Frank Warren. Hes done it for 30 years and hes in the Hall of Fame. Anyone whos Irish and has done it here has done it with Frank Warren.
With a stable team around him Macklin is confident this Saturday he can win back the European Crown he was made to vacate and then finally make the step up to world level.
Hopefully I will get some consistency now. I have been described as a bit of a nomad, Ive done my travels, but I know where I am and where I want to be. I have a good promoter in Frank Warren, Ive got the capabilities and the desire, Ive got the chin, the punch, the power and now with some stability in my life, itll add that missing touch.
Often talked about as a fighter who hasnt achieved what he could have. Warren puts that down to Macklins desire to work with other promoters.
Hes listened to a lot of people telling him the grass would be greener, thats life, Warren said. But hes realised that is not the case and he has been very inactive. Had he stayed with me he would have had a world title shot and maybe held one by now. But its never too late, hes got this chance, hell fight again in December if he wins, hopefully thatll be a world title or defence of the European but certainly in the next six months I expect him to be challenging for a world title. They all see the light and come back.
Shalva Jomardashvili, Macklins opponent, is no stranger to these shores. He faced Martin Murray in Staffordshire in February and suffered the second defeat of his thirty fight career. Last time out he only managed a draw and his recent form should inspire Macklin, who is disappointed at the collapse of his fight with Barker.
It was going to be highly anticipated but what can you do. Im still fighting for the European title, its a proud moment for me, and it will be nice to win back the title which I did not lose in the ring. As far as Im concerned I have always been European Champion but it will be nice to have it official.
Macklins fight forms part of Frank Warrens Magnificent Seven show. Also featuring on the card will be Frankie Gavin, James De Gale, Nathan Cleverly, Enzo Maccarinelli and Kell Brook. Its live on Sky Box Office HD from 6pm.