Middleweight contender Mathew Macklin told RingTV.com that he expects to score a knockout against Sergio Martinez if THE RING champ turns in a performance like he did against London’s Darren Barker in October.
Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) is coming off an 11th-round knockout of Barker (23-1, 14 KOs) during which he was tagged several times early on and even appeared to have been staggered at one point.
“Martinez certainly showed some vulnerabilities and he certainly showed that he was hittable. He looked tired. But having said that, he had probably been looking past Barker. I think that Martinez is certainly better than that,” said Macklin, of Birmingham, West Midlands, in the United Kingdom, who will face Martinez on March 17 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“Martinez still found a way to win, even though he didn’t seem to perform to the best of his abilties. But, you know, on that performance, I think that I would have stopped him. If he came in like that against me, he certainly would not have heard the final bell. I don’t think that he will turn up like that against me. I expect a better Martinez, but I still think that I will beat him.”
In his last fight in June, Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) lost a controversial split-decision to RING No. 2-rated middleweight and WBA beltholder Felix Sturm (36-2-2, 15 KOs), of Germany.
“I was just winning rounds and winning rounds. I remember it was the eighth or ninth round, coming back to my corner saying to myself, ‘When is he going to do something?’ I was just waiting and waiting,” said Macklin.
“When they announced that it was a split-decision, I was like, ‘what?’ I was like, ‘don’t tell me that I’m getting stitched up and robbed here, you know what I mean? I figured the worst could happen in Germany, and I was right.”
Sturm recently held on to his crown, yet again, with a split-draw against RING No. 9-rated middleweight Martin Murray (23-0, 10 KOs) on Dec. 2.
“Germany is notorius for bad decisions,” said Macklin, “Especially with Felix Sturm, who is a big star there who is generating a lot of money. That was a Felix Sturm promotion.”
MACKLIN LOOKS TO END BRITAIN’S LOSING STREAK ABROAD
Macklin made his comments in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., where he was in attendance for the following night’s split-decision victory by RING No. 2-rated junior welterweight Lamont Peterson that dethroned Amir Khan as IBF/WBA beltholder at the Washington Convention Center.
So Macklin is looking to end the losing streak that has continued on the road and abroad by his English countrymen such as Khan, Barker, Dereck Chisora, Carl Froch, David Haye, Matthew Hatton, Brian Magee, John Murray, Martin Murray and Ryan Rhodes.