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Saturday 16 December 2017

Boxing: Macklin vows to silence doubters with title glory

Matthew Macklin
Matthew Macklin

Bernard O'Neill

RECENT form, statistics and bookies odds will be stacked against Irish middleweight Matthew Macklin's when he steps between the ropes in Connecticut tonight for his third World title tilt since 2011.

Macklin meets Gennady Golovkin looking to relieve the Kazakh southpaw of his IBO and WBA World middleweight crowns.

Two years ago this month, Birmingham-born Macklin, who is managed by Brian Peters, was on the wrong end of a controversial split decision to Felix Sturm in a WBA tilt in Cologne.

Less than 12 months later, on St Patrick's Day 2012, Macklin was retired by his corner after being dropped twice in the 11th challenging for Sergio Martinez's WBC crown at Madison Square Garden.

Macklin (right) bounced back from those reversals with a first-round stoppage of Joachim Alcine in Las Vegas, but the two minutes and 36 seconds it took to dispatch the inept Canadian was Macklin's only outing since last September.

Golovkin, who has had two fights this year, goes into tonight's 12-rounder unbeaten in 26 fights. Twenty-three of his wins have come by way of KO. He'll be defending his titles for the eighth time in New England.

The 31-year-old has the highest KO percentage (88.46pc) in middleweight championship history. One boxing scribe estimates that he's "put more men on canvas than Rembrandt!"

An outstanding amateur, Golovkin lost just five of 335 bouts before switching codes in 2006. In 2003, he beat Limerick's Andy Lee en route to AIBA World gold in Thailand and he claimed silver at the 2004 Olympics.

Macklin tops the rounds boxed stats – 175 against 106 – but Golovkin leads in the estimated punching power stakes – 81.4pc to 69pc.

Paddy Power also has the defending champion at 1/9 on to win, with Macklin at 11/2. But the challenger, who has won 29 of his 33 fights (20 KOs), believes the bookies are wrong.

"I was robbed against Sturm and it will be a different story this time," he said. "I'll be more than ready for anything he throws at me."

Golovkin v Macklin,

Live, Sky Sports 1, tomorrow, 1.0am

Irish Independent

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