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Macklin 'sharp' for Russ tussle

Demolished in the third round by a serious body shot from Gennday Golovkin in June, Matthew Macklin (29-5, 20 KOs) is determined to get back among the best. On the HBO Rigondeaux-Agbeko card in Atlantic City tonight, he meets an unbeaten 26-year old American opponent, Lamar Russ (14-0, 7 KOs), who's having his fourth bout of the year.

According to promoter Lou DiBella, "Matthew knows he's fighting a terrific prospect. He doesn't have the experience that Matt has, but he'll try. He's hungry."

Also a southpaw, Lamar replaced Macklin's opponent Willie Nelson, who was injured in training. Adding a twist to the equation, Russ was one of Golovkin's sparring partners before the Macklin fight.

Having parted company with trainer Buddy McGirt, Macklin has been working with Jamie Moore, the boxer who gave him his second pro defeat in a light middleweight title bout that was the best fight of 2006. Moore says Macklin is "sharp as a razor and rarin' to go".

ORMOND TO ENTER HOSTILE TERRITORY

Big-time boxing here will get a much-needed boost if Stephen Ormond (17-1, 7KOs) delivers the performance his coach Paschal Collins believes he's capable of in Liverpool tonight.

The Echo Arena will be a bear pit with a capacity crowd urging homeboy Commonwealth lightweight champion Derry Matthews (34-8, 19KOs) to rip away Ormond's WBO European belt.

The Liverpudlian got a morale boost on Wednesday when he was informed by police that he wouldn't be facing charges over an alleged assault outside a takeaway in October.


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