By Arvin Nundloll
Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin returns to the ring on June 29, 2013, at Foxwoods Resort and Casino, taking on undefeated middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Macklin is back on his feet since his defeat at the hands Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm (if you believe he actually lost that fight) and is eager to get in the ring to prove to the world that he is the best middleweight around.
“It’s my third challenge for the middleweight title in four fights and it’s definitely going to be third time lucky. I got robbed against Sturm and I gave Martinez a great fight but you know Martinez is a very awkward fighter. It was my first fight back with Buddy McGirt and I hadn’t worked with him in years and I think from the camp to that one, the last camp against Alcine we picked up from the Martinez fight and we made the adjustments.”
“There were things that we were working on for the Martinez fight that I probably got 70-80% of (right), where now we’re in sync and I know exactly what he wants and he knows what I’m capable of.”
Macklin believes that his future lies in America and relishes the prospect of not only beating Golovkin, but also fulfilling his dream to take on Sergio Martinez in a rematch and taking on the world’s best fighters.
“If you want to be on the big fights they’re in America. I’m one of the best middleweights in the world, I want to beat the best, fighting Gennady Golovkin.”
“Me beating him will throw me straight back into a rematch with Sergio Martinez. I know the next time if I were to fight Sergio, I’d beat him.”
“There’s been some talk with Darren Barker but once I beat Gennady Golovkin, I’ll be looking at a rematch with Sergio Martinez or maybe a defense against Chavez (Jr.), Cotto if he wants to step up to 160, they’re the fights that I want to be involved in. The other fights are great fights domestically but they’re just not big fights in America and this is where it’s at.”
Since the Martinez fight, Macklin praised McGirt for helping him improve as a fighter and to become more disciplined.
“Buddy has probably polished me up, obviously the raw talent is still there, your strength, your power, your speed, your tenacity. They’re attributes that make you who you are but I think technically he’s pushed me up, I don’t think I’m loading up as much, I’m not telegraphing my shots as much, my balance is better, my head movement is better, I’m boxing more and I’m using my jab more. It’s hard to quantify that but it does make a big difference and improvement.”
When asked about how he’s changed as a fighter the moment he steps into the ring to take on Golovkin, Macklin proclaimed “definitely, without a shadow of a doubt.”
On the matter of training preparation, Macklin is getting comfortable in his new gym in Marbella, Spain.
“I’ve got my own gym, Macklin’s Gym Marbella (located in Spain). It was opened last summer. Great gym, I love it out there, there’s a lot of Irish and English that are out in Spain and it’s a home from home. I’ll probably come out to New York for two to three weeks before the fight.”
“When I went with Buddy, the camp was brilliant, everything Buddy said in the Martinez fight that I needed to do and everything I couldn’t afford to do, he was 100% right. There’s only some much you can do in ten weeks, especially when I done my ribs and knuckles I was only shadow boxing for the last two weeks, that affected things as well. But I was very happy with Buddy as my trainer and even with the Alcine fight, the camp was in sync, we’re on the same page and from that point of view Buddy is still training me.”
Recently, Macklin had surgery on his nose in an effort to improve his air circulation.
“I can breathe! Before it was terrible and now I can get a nice good clean breath. Before I’d have to open my nose to try and get a decent breath, it was terrible, breathing through your mouth and keeping your mouth open isn’t good, you could get a broken jaw that way. It’s definitely improved my recovery time.”
In closing Macklin couldn’t have sold this highly anticipated championship event any better.
“You’ve got two big punchers, two aggressive guys, two physically strong guys, do the math.”