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29th Jan 2015

VIDEO: Matthew Macklin talks exclusively to SportsJOE about his upcoming fight and how close he was to retirement

Boxing, Tipperary hurling and (surprisingly) dancing all crop up in conversation

Darragh Murphy

Matthew Macklin is ready to get back in the ring and he’s absolutely full of chat

The former world title contender sat down with SportsJOE in the wake of the announcement that his comeback fight is slated for Birmingham on May 9th and revealed how excited he is.

“To fight back in Birmingham, I’m looking forward to that,” Macklin said. “It should be a big night of boxing and there hasn’t been a big night of boxing in Birmingham for years.”

Matthew Macklin makes his way to the ring ahead of the fight 15/11/2014

The middleweight also revealed to us how close he really was to hanging up his gloves after his latest loss, a 10th round stoppage at the hands of Jorge Sebastian Heiland.

“You never want to make the decision on camera, just after a fight, because emotions are running high and you don’t know what you’re thinking,” he said.

“When I got back to the hotel and let it sink in a bit more, I started talking to Joe [Gallagher] and a few other people whose opinion I really respect and thought ‘that’s probably it now’.”

Matthew Macklin dejected in his corner after being knocked out 15/11/2014

But The Tipperary Tornado claimed that after a few weeks of reflection, he realised the time to call it a day hadn’t yet arrived.

“In the days and weeks that followed I analysed things a bit more and that’s when I thought ‘No, it probably was just me being burnt out.’

“It’s a big decision and I’ll be retired a long time so, when I do retire, I want that peace of mind and closure to know that I’m retiring because it’s the right thing to do.”

Macklin also opens up about the potential for a future fight with current WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee.

Andy Lee celebrates winning 13/12/2014

“I think that could happen,” he said. “As long as I come back and I feel good and win in May and Andy can, please God, win his next one then I think that’s a huge fight. Certainly the biggest fight in Ireland that I can remember with two Irish fighters.”

Macklin was in Dublin to promote his upcoming appearance on Strictly Spin, a celebrity dance event that takes place tomorrow night in aid of Irish Homeless Street Leagues.