25 March 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Promoter Brian Peters has revealed that he is unlikely to be arranging any all-Irish middleweight showdowns in the immediate future.
With John Duddy, Andy Lee and Matthew Macklin all currently campaigning at 160lbs, it would appear inevitable that at least two of the men will meet at some point further down the line.
Duddy and Lee had appeared to be cruising towards world title shots but the former ruined his hopes of a summer showdown with Kelly Pavlik ruined for the time being, at least by a dreadful performance against Walid Smichet last month, while the latter is looking to rebuild after a shock seventh-round stoppage at the hands of Brian Vera on Friday night.
As a result, both would now appear to be within touching distance for Macklin, who underlined his recent improvement with an impressive points win over Luis Ramon Yori Boy Campas on Saturday.
However, Peters does not believe that Macklin should be setting his sights on his compatriots just yet.
Matthew has never refused a fight. Andy Lee, John Duddy or whoever hed fight them all. But itd be a big fight, the two guys would have to get well paid and youd really want a belt on the line, he explained.
The key to the guys meeting is someone picking up a title be it a European title, a world title or whatever.
Wed all love to see the fights but the terms have to be right. And if Matthew had the European title around his waist he would be in a very strong position.
And the target for Peters is hoping that Macklin can get a crack at the European title, which will be on the line when current champion Sebastian Sylvester takes on Javier Castillejo in Germany next month.
The European title is certainly what well be focusing on now, he admitted. Matthews rated number 18 in Europe so its just about getting some momentum.
Campas was his first fight since October, his first with Buddy and a couple of good ten-rounders like that will do Matthew do the world of good.
Hes not too banged up after tonight so hell definitely be back out before the end of May. Its just about getting the right opponent.
Matthew is at a very good point in his career. That was a good win and he wants to stay at this level. Its possible we could go to America next.
Weve had talks with a few guys over there but, as I said, its all about finding the right opponent. It has to suit us.