By Clive Bernath: Following Matthew Macklin’s excellent 10 round points win over the durable Rafael Sosa Pintos on Saturday(Dec 5) night his confidence is understandably at an all time high. However, the 27 year-old appears to be in a bit of a dilemma at the moment. Should he defend his European middleweight title against dangerous Russian Dimitry Pirog or march on in pursuit of a crack the world middleweight title?
Macklin is scheduled to defend the European title he so impressively won by blasting out the respected Amin Asikainen inside a round back in September but he has since informed his local newspaper the Birmingham Mail that if a world title opportunity presented itself he would take it at a heartbeat.
“People have been saying that Dmitry Pirog’s a dangerous fighter. I’ve watched him and there’s no doubt he’s very good but I’m not a bit bothered about fighting him,’’ said Macklin, speaking to the Birmingham Mail.
“I’d take on any of the champions right now including Kelly Pavlik. I don’t think there are too many big fights out there for Pavlik at the moment so if that fight came my way I’d jump at it.
“I believe I’ve the skills, the power and the chin to beat him.”
The Birmingham based Irishman is super confident in his ability to face the very best middleweights in the world right now and who can blame him? Since being stopped by Jamie Moore in the 10th round of a real 50-50 barn burner back in September 2006 Macklin has tasted victory nine times including demolishing Wayne Elcock inside three rounds to claim the British middleweight crown and of course the career best victory over Asikainen.
We must also not forget that there are two other Irish middleweights out there that could argue Macklin needs to prove he is the No.1 in Ireland before he moves on to world class. I’m sure both John Duddy and Andy Lee would be happy face Macklin in a battle to settle domestic bragging rights.
As I said Matthew Macklin is in a dilemma as to which road to take. There is no doubt he faces a headache as to which is the best route from a career and financial sense but it’s a great position to be in. Macklin will sit down with his promoter Ricky Hatton and the rest of his team to decide their best options over the next few weeks but you know what? Matthew is now approaching his prime and starting to produce the kind of form expected of him and that could be huge problem any middleweight in the world right now- including undisputed champ Kelly Pavlik.
December 6, 2009