By Jonny Stapleton in New York
Matthew Macklin avoided cringe worthy ‘Luck of the Irish’ St Patrick Day claims throughout the week long build up to his mega fight with Sergio Martinez in Madison Square Garden tonight.
However, the challenger was adamant there is some special omen around fighting for the middleweight championship of the world in the Mecca of boxing on March 17th.
The date already has significant standing in Macklin’s boxing life, not just because he is Irish, but because he had his first amateur fight in the Grand Hotel in Birmingham as 11 year old in 1994.
The former Irish, British, and two time European champion won that night and he plans another albeit more significant win tonight.
The former Tipperary underage hurler certainly isn’t leaving it down to luck and has put in the hard work, but he did go as far as to suggest his Felix Sturm robbery in Germany might have happened so he could claim the title in more fitting circumstances and on the biggest stage of all.
“I was very disappointed not to get the decision against Sturm but this is the silver lining.I can’t change the result. Everyone knows I won the fight so for me it was about moving onto the next phase of your career. Luckily for me this opportunity came out of it. Maybe it happened for a reason. Maybe I was meant to win a world title in Madison Square Garden on St Patricks Day instead of Cologne in November.being at Madison Square Garden, on St Patrick’s Day, against Martinez, on HBO, it ticks all the boxes. It’s like a fairytale” Macklin said smiling.
“I won my first ever amateur boxing match in the Grand Hotel in Birmigham on St Patrick’s Day. Saturday night will be 18 years to the day since I first fought. There has to be some kind of omen around that. There is good history surrounding Paddy’s day and me fighting and I am going to make sure that continues.”
There is plenty of other Irish interest on the ST Patrick’s Day Card. Dublin heavyweight Thomas Hardwick will be looking to extend his unbeaten start to pro boxing. Navan’s very own Long Beach light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan will be hoping to register another impressive display and son of legendary trainer Kevin Rooney, Kevin Rooney jr will take a break from his DiBella Entertainment PR duties in a bid to get back to winning boxing ways.