Harry Pratt

Macklin believes he will get his shot at Martinez on March 17

Middleweight contender Mathew Macklin is convinced only Floyd Mayweather Jr stands between himself and a world title shot at Argentine ace Sergio Martinez in Madison Square on St Patrick’s Day 2012.

But the Irishman, unlucky to lose a split decision to German WBA titleholder Felix Sturm last time out in July, is quietly confident that a pound for pound contest between Martinez, The RING’s middleweight champion, and America’s undefeated welterweight king Mayweather (42-0, 26 knockouts) is not going to happen.

“Realistically there are bigger marquee fights for Martinez than me. There’s Julio Chavez Jr, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr,” said Macklin, who is now looked after by Martinez’s promoter, Lou Di Bella. “But I don’t think the Pacquiao one is up for consideration and Bob Arum has already said that Chavez Jr. won’t be fighting Martinez.

“So I am pretty sure it is going to be me and Martinez on Paddy’s day at the Garden. The only thing that could de-rail the fight is if Martinez fights Mayweather instead. But I think that’s unlikely. I am confident my next fight will be against Sergio Martinez in March.

“In terms of the middleweight division I am the leading contender. Martinez is considered the number one. Sturm was widely regarded as his closest rival and the number two. But everyone has seen me beat Sturm up in the summer – so that kind of qualifies me as the leading contender.”

Just when he finds out for sure remains to be seen but RING No 4-rated middleweight Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) is hoping to get the nod for his March 17 date with Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) before Christmas – with official confirmation coming in January.

“I think I will know within the next couple of weeks, early to mid-December, but I don’t think it will be signed off until after January 9,” the 29-year-old Brit said on Box Nation TV.

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