Macklin defence in doubt - by Leonard Gunning, 16 March 2010
Birmingham-born Irishman Matthew Macklin 26–2 (18 KO’s) has been dealt a crushing blow to hopes of retaining his European middleweight title after breaking his nose in a training injury in the lead-up to the biggest fight of his life.
The 27-year-old Los Angeles-based Macklin, who is enjoying the form of his life, was scheduled to face German-based Armenian knockout artist Khoren Gevor at the Aston Events Centre in Birmingham on April 16, but this bout will now most likely have to be shelved due to the injury which will make further training practically impossible.
His coach Freddie Roach, who has previously trained Irish fighters such as Steve Collins and Bernard Dunne and is the current coach of world pound-for-pound number one Manny Pacquiao, attended a press conference in New York for the forthcoming clash of Brooklyn’s Paulie Malignaggi and his own fighter Amir Khan.
“Matthew has really settled in well to the Wild Card Gym,” Roach told Boxing-Ireland.com, “where he has Dubliners Dean Byrne and, new prospect, Jamie Kavanagh for company but unfortunately it is not looking good for him for this fight because of an injury he picked up”.
Roach went on to describe the events leading up to the injury in more detail, “Matt was sparring with a couple of really tough guys, two Russian brothers, and he walked into a punch that he really shouldn’t have. I don’t know exactly what the situation is because I was away with Pacquiao in Dallas at the weekend. So unfortunately now we have an injury and we are going to have to postpone the Gevor fight a little bit.”
In 2009 Macklin, a former ABA amateur champion at welterweight, spectacularly knocked out Birmingham rival Wayne Elcock and then stepped up to claim the European crown by demolishing Finland’s former Euro champ Amin Asikainen inside a round in Manchester.
Matthew was aiming for a tilt at a world title shot in 2010 but all plans are now on hold and Macklin now plans to return Birmingham to recover and receive further medical treatment.