Matthew Macklin’s next fight will not be a European title defence against Darren Barker as had long been anticipated but instead Macklin will fight
Winky Wright, (39) the former undisputed junior middleweight champion, indeed Wright has been out of the fight game for some two years now .
The nontitle bout is signed and will take place April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on a ‘pay-per-view card’ ‘Golden Boy Promotions’ is putting together, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com late Monday.
“The winner clearly is set up for a middleweight world championship fight,” Schaefer said. “For each guy this is an extremely important fight.”
Schaefer confirmed that he is working to finalise a main event that would see Juan Manuel Marquez defending his lightweight crown against Mexican countryman Erik Morales- should Morales win here he would be the first Mexican to win titles in four weight classes.
The promoter told ESPN.
“I think the story here is that you have Matthew Macklin, who has worked himself up the rankings and put together a pretty impressive streak of wins and now is considered one of the best contenders from Europe, so for him this is a big step up,” said Schaefer, who said Golden Boy has also signed Macklin to a multi-fight promotional contract. “A win over Winky Wright will make him a serious contender for the one of the world titles.
“For Winky Wright to come back and fight against an opponent like Matthew Macklin shows he is serious about coming back. If he wins, he’s in line for one of the middleweight world titles. Winky understands this won’t be an easy fight, but he also knows if he wins, he is perfectly positioned. Winky didn’t want just a tune-up fight. He wants a fight that would set him for a fight with [champion] Sergio Martinez or [titleholder Dmitry] Pirog. Winky would really like a shot at Martinez.”
Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs), 39, of St. Petersburg, Fla., made his name in 2004 when he twice defeated Shane Mosley to become the undisputed 154-pound champion.
Macklin (28-2, 19 KOs), 28, is riding an 11-fight winning streak. He hasn’t lost since September 2006 when he was stopped by Jamie Moore in the 10th round of a junior middleweight bout.
Macklin won the vacant European middleweight title by stopping Shalva Jomardashvili in the sixth round in September and defended it in December.
Irish fans had been hoping that a Macklin – Barker fight would take place in Dublin or Birmingham in late Spring.