Macklin still holds world title hope ahead of Welborn home clash
Lee Gormley | October 14, 2015
Matthew Macklin will return to the ring in his hometown of Birmingham this weekend to take on Jason Welborn in his first light-middleweight clash since 2006, after dropping down divisions from 160 pounds, and is still confident of finally becoming a world champion despite career set-backs.
The 33-year-old has endured three defeats in as many world title bouts in his professional career to date, as part of six losses overall on his record, but is determined to succeed despite previously contemplating retirement after being overcome by Jorge Sebastian Heiland last year.
Instead, ‘Mack the Knife’ has opted to return to 154 pounds following successive knockout victories over Sandor Micsko and Chris Herrmann, but he is 7/1 with Coral to taste defeat for a seventh time in this Birmingham battle.
Returning to the division in which he was brutally toppled by Jamie Moore in during their 2006 meeting, Macklin is aiming for one last crack at that world title at a later stage after weighing down.
“I still think I can win a world title,” declared Macklin. “After the fight with Heiland I did think maybe I am not what I was. He is a good fighter with a horrible style to fight, but after three rounds of feeling sharp, I just felt that I had no energy in there.
“I hadn’t been out of the gym all year and at 33, training like that, something has got to give. So I think that I still have plenty to give but it’s just been about changing the way I train a little bit, small adjustments, and I think that I am going to be more imposing at super-welterweight and my power will be great.
“I’d been thinking about moving down for a while. The last time I fought at super-welterweight was before I boxed Jamie Moore, but I was bigger then and lifting weights four times a week, and I struggled. I went off like a bull from the gates, too, which didn’t help because the pace was horrendous.
“Since then I haven’t lifted weights, I’ve probably been over-obsessed with getting down to the weight early, so a lot of my training is down to high intensity cardio work to sharpen my stamina, so I am smaller now and I think that I will make super-welterweight comfortably.”
Although, standing in the way of Macklin and what is potentially his final chance at gunning for a world strap is Welborn, a fellow West Midlands fighter who has previously lost British title bouts to Frankie Gavin and recently-crowned world champion Liam Smith.
“I have to win and win it well,” Macklin continued. “He’s probably going to box 10 per cent better than he has before and train harder than ever too, and he might think that I will struggle to get up for this fight.
“But I am excited about the future at super-welterweight – and there is no future without beating Jason, so I am well up for this.”
Macklin is odds-on 1/14 favourite to overcome his latest opponent and on home turf at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena this Saturday night, in what he hopes will be another step towards reviving his previously stuttering career.
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Betting tip: Macklin to win @ odds-on 1/14