'My careers on the line' says Matthew Macklin ahead of Dublin fight
Matthew Macklin admits Saturday's fight may make or break his career.
Macklin has conceded that his career may be on the line when he steps into the ring at the 3Arena this weekend. 'The Tipperary Tornado' faces Jorge Sebastian Heiland, the WBC International Middleweight champion, in his first Irish bout since 2009 and admits victory is essential to further his career.
'It's the fight I need at this stage and if I cannot beat him, then that's it really', said Macklin. When the fight was announced, the Birmingham native acknowledged it wasn't just his livelihood that may be at stake, but also the Irish fighters on the undercard. 'I’m proud to be bringing it back here, but, also, you feel that it’s not just my career riding on it. If I can go on and do well and bring more big nights back here, other lads can benefit from it’.
Eddie Hearn, the fight's promoter, echoed Macklin's sentiments, and went as far as to say Irish professional boxing may also hinge on the Birmingham native's performance. 'He’s the reason why we’re here. No disrespect to Fitz, Spike and those guys, we couldn't run a Sky date with those guys alone on the bill. They're a brilliant support cast, they make the show, but you need the headline act, so if he loses, a lot hinges for Irish boxing on his performance and result'.
However, despite the high stakes and pressure on his shoulders, Macklin is confident ahead of the bout with the Argentine middleweight. 'I know I will beat him and it will set me up for a big 2015, where a world title shot will definitely come about. At this stage of my career having won the European title, Irish title, British title, boxed in Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden and in world title fights, I wouldn't be putting in what I am putting in and making the sacrifices I am making if I didn't think I could become a world champion'.
The Macklin/Heiland bout tops an exciting bill in Dublin this Saturday. Middleweights Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan faces Anthony Fitzgerald, and O'Sullivan is confident of a win. 'I want to fight more regularly and hopefully after I knock Anthony out, I would like to look at landing a big fight. Stylistically I think a fight between Matthew Macklin and I would be great for the fans'. Featherweight Patrick Hyland fights John Simpson, while Olympic silver medalist John Joe Nevin faces Jack Heath and undefeated middleweight Luke Keeler squares off against Gary Boulden.
The fight card will also feature Anthony Crolla, cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy, welterweight Sam Eggington and light welterweight Kofi Yates. There will also be a IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title bout between Kal Yafai and Everth Briceno.