As we revealed here on SportsNewsIreland on 8 January, two time European Middleweight Champ, Matthew Macklin has landed a high profile Las Vegas showdown with the legendary Ronald “Winky” Wright on April 9th.
The fight will be the first of a lucrative promotional deal that Macklin has inked with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. The bout will take place at the MGM Grand on a live HBO pay per view event and will serve as the co-featured attraction to the clash between Mexican legend Erik “El Terrible” Morales and Argentinian power puncher, Marcos Maidana with the event being billed by Golden Boy as “Action Heroes”.
“This is exactly the kind of fight I’ve been looking for and I believe it will bring out the absolute best in me,” said Macklin about his clash with Wright. “I have the utmost respect for Winky, he is a legend of the sport and his achievements speak for themselves. He’s been in 15 world title fights and fought the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor and Paul Williams as well as having a pair of wins over ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley and a shutout win over Felix Trinidad. That’s a hugely impressive resume and he has been consistently considered amongst the best pound for pound fighters in the world over the last 10 years. He’s someone I’ve looked up to throughout my career but this is my time to make a big impact in the U.S. and this is the perfect fight to do that in. I know that it will be a huge challenge but that’s what appeals to me about this fight and I’m very confident about the outcome.”
The fight was originally mooted for last summer but it failed to materialise and instead Macklin successfully regained his European title before making a successful title defence in December. “I originally agreed to fight Winky last summer but for whatever reason he never agreed terms then but thankfully it’s on now,” said Macklin. I’ve always believed I’ve the ability to go right to the very top in the sport and where better to prove that than against a living legend of the sport on a big HBO fight in Las Vegas.”
Wright insists he’s confident of cutting Macklin’s Stateside invasion short. “I’m training hard and pushing hard because I want to give fans the best Winky Wright on April 9. I can’t wait to get back in the ring. I feel stronger, faster and sharper than ever, and I’m ready to reclaim what’s mine, but first, I’ll have to show Matthew Macklin some new tricks in Vegas.”
Macklin’s manager, Brian Peters believes that a win over Wright will lead to a World title fight. “This is one of the most lucrative deals for an Irish boxer in the last 25 years. Matthew has always been hugely ambitious and this deal with Golden Boy gives him the platform to go on and realise those ambitions.
The ‘Tipperary Tornado’ was actually born in Birmingham on 14th May 1982, his mother comes from County Tipperary, his Father from Roscommon. Matthew and brother Seamus regularly spent their summers in Tipperary and it was here that Matthew developed his love for hurling. A friend of Eoin Kelly, Macklin regularly attends Tipperary GAA games and Poc Fada competitions on his visits to Ireland. Having won the English ABA amateur title in 2001 when still an 18 years old studying law at Coventry University,he turned professional in September of that year winning his first fight at the Bellahouston Sports Centre in Glasgow against hitherto unbeaten Ram Singh.
Brian Peters believes : “This will arguably be the biggest fight involving an Irish man in Las Vegas since that infamous night when Barry McGuigan lost his World title in the desert heat back in 1986. Matthew’s fight will at least be indoors so he certainly won’t have to worry about the heat but he will be up against one of the finest fighters to step into the ring in recent times. Matthew won’t be fazed by fighting in Vegas though. He’s already boxed in the States on a number of occasions and was around Ricky Hatton for the build up to a lot of his big fights in the U.S. so he will know what to expect.”
Tickets for “Action Heroes” are priced at $350, $250, $150, $75, $50 and $25. Macklin fans in the UK and Ireland interested in traveling to the bout as part of a package can contact Elaine O’Neill from America Direct on +353 (0)1 8366 366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
So his many fans in Ireland and in Great Britain eagerly look forward to that April 9th bout with Wright and hopefully to a World title fight during 2011.