Boxing


Matthew Macklin ready for battle

Irish middleweight champ Matthew Macklin is eyeing up a big payday in 2009 – at the bookies! Ladbrokes are offering odds of 33/1 on Macklin claiming a world title next year and although he’s not a gambling man Macklin says he’ll be backing himself to go all the way to the World middleweight title..

However of more immediate concern to Macklin is this Saturday’s Ladbrokes.com Fight Night at the National Stadium, Dublin when he clashes with former World Champion Yori Boy Campas. Macklin says he’s firing on all cylinders following a training camp in Florida with new trainer and former two weight World Champion, Buddy McGirt.It will be Macklin’s first fight with the in demand McGirt in his corner having split with previous trainer Billy Graham towards the end of last year.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Buddy and being out in Florida was a great experience,” said Macklin. “It was just what I needed for this fight. I learned a lot from my time with Billy but felt it was the right time to move on. I need to get back to using my boxing skills a bit more and I think Buddy is the perfect trainer for that.”

Campas will certainly ask some searching questions of Macklin as a veteran of 102 fights. The Mexican’s reputation as one of boxing’s toughest warriors is well deserved having held the IBF Light Middleweight title and having shared the ring with modern ring legends Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad.

Campas is also remembered by Irish fight fans for giving John Duddy the fright of his life when losing to the Derryman on a narrow points decision in September of 2006.

“I think he’ll bring the best out in me,” said Macklin. “He’s a real name in the sport and he’s been in with everyone. Fighting these kind of guys really gives you that buzz you need to perform at your best and I just can’t wait for the fight now.

“I watched a few of his recent fights and he’s still very dangerous, you only have to look at the Duddy fight to see that’s he still carries a dig and he’s a great inside fighter. I certainly won’t have to go looking for him and that will suit me. I’ll be trying to use my boxing ability as much as possible but with his style it will be hard not to get dragged into a fight so it could be pretty explosive.”

The undercard for the Ladbrokes.com Fight Night is headed by the Irish Light Welterweight title rematch between Cavan’s Andrew Murray and Belfast’s James Gorman. The two first met last December at the Kings Hall in Belfast with Murray winning on a technical decision after an accidental clash of heads in the fourth round left Murray unable to continue.

Hopefully the outcome will be more conclusive this weekend and with both men confident of victory it should prove to be an exciting affair.

The card will also feature Cuban heavyweight sensation Mike “The Rebel” Perez. The former World Amateur Junior Champion is a man in a hurry having knocked out his first two professional opponents in the first round. This weekend he faces two time Polish amateur champion Tomasz Zeprzalka as he looks to make it a hat trick of wins in the pro ranks.

Another former amateur star on the card is Dublin’s own Ian Tims. The Clondalkin native is a former Irish Heavyweight champ in the amateur ranks and he’ll be looking to get his pro career off to the best possible start with an impressive win on Saturday night.

Another Dubliner in action is Leon Senior with the London based super middleweight looking for the second win of his pro career.

Unbeaten Belfast welterweight Willie Thompson also features alongside a super middleweight clash between unbeaten Pole, Albert Rybacki and American Freeman Taft.

Tickets for the Ladrokes.com Fight Night priced from €60 are on from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets.

The full line up is:

- Matthew Mackin V Yori Boy Campas – Middleweight (10 Rounds)
- Andrew Murray V James Gorman – Irish Light Welterweight Title (10 Rounds)
- Mike Perez V Tomasz Zeprzalka – Heavyweight (6 Rounds)
- Ian Tims V Klaids Kristapsons – Cruiserweight (4 Rounds)
- Willie Thompson V Semens Moroshek – Welterweight (4 Rounds)
- Leon Senior V Sandris Tomson – Super Middleweight (4 Rounds)
- Albert Rybacki V Freeman Taft – Light Heavyweight (6 Rounds)

Live coverage of the Ladbrokes.com Fight Night begins on RTÉ TWO at 9pm on Saturday and online at www.rte.ie.

Article posted on 17.03.2008



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