Boxing: Macklin back in the frame for title shot
IRELAND'S Matthew Macklin is in pole position for a third world-title shot after blasting out Canada's Joachim Alcine in the first round in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The Birmingham-born middleweight ruthlessly dropped the ex-world champion twice in the opening frame and the fight was stopped with 24 seconds to go to the bell for the end of the first at the Thomas & Mack Centre.
Macklin and the Quebec-native met on the Sergio Martinez v Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr undercard, a fight which Martinez won to claim the WBC world title despite a late surge from the Mexican.
Chavez, who beat Limerick's Andy Lee in El Paso, Texas, earlier this year, floored the Argentinian southpaw in the 12th, but Martinez got off the canvas to earn a 117-110 118-109 118-109 decision.
Macklin, who was controversially beaten on a split decision by Felix Sturm in his tilt for the German's WBA crown in Germany last year, could now be in line for another dust-up with Martinez.
They met in Madison Square Garden in New York on St Patrick's Day last, Martinez emerging victorious after scoring an 11th-round stoppage.
"I felt very sharp in the changing room before hand," said Macklin after Saturday's fight. "I dropped him with the first right hand and I could see he was gone and it was only a matter of time before I'd get the stoppage.
"Congratulations to Sergio, he proved again that's he is the best middleweight in the world and he put on a boxing master-class against Chavez.
"I think my stock has also risen as outside of the last round Martinez pretty much gave Chavez a boxing lesson, while for nine rounds in my fight with Martinez there was very little between us and I was actually ahead on the scorecards."
Elsewhere on the Vegas card, Guillermo Rigondeaux improved to 11 straight wins and retained his WBA world super-bantamweight crown after dominating Robert Marroquin.
The unbeaten Cuban southpaw, who is managed by Cork's Gary Hyde, floored the American in the fifth and 12th rounds en route to a unanimous 111-108 decision.