Macklin is trained by 48-year-old former two-division titleholder Buddy McGirt, who told RingTV.com that he believes that he would have defeated WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao during his prime.
McGirt (76-3-1, 48 KOs) became the first man to knock out former Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr., doing so by first-round stoppage in defense of his IBF junior welterweight belt in July of 1988.
McGirt also dethroned Simon Brown as WBC welterweight beltholder by unanimous decision in November of 1991, and decisioned ex-titleholder Livingstone Bramble in April of 1994. McGirt lost to Pernell Whitaker twice and Meldrick Taylor once during high points of his career.
McGirt was a slick-boxing counter-puncher much like RING lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, who battled Pacquiao through a draw, a split-decision loss and, most recently, a majority decision loss.
Marquez claims that he won all three fights with Pacquiao, and there are many who agree with the Mexican three-division champion.
“Marquez showed the script on how to beat Pacquiao. A guy like Pacquiao, guys like that, you’ve got to punch when they punch. You’ve got to throw them off their rhythm. Once a guy like Pacquiao gets his rhythm going, you can forget about it,” said McGirt. “I just felt that if you keep your hands going against a guy like him, and you punch when he punches, and you give him different angles, that you can beat him.”
McGirt said his strategy against Pacquiao would be similar to that of Marquez.
“I would make the adjustment, baby,” said McGirt. “Me and Pacquiao, early, I think that it would have been a chess match. But once I figured him out, then it would be in my favor.”
How would Pacquiao do against Taylor? “Taylor, I think, would have been a little bit too fast for him,” said McGirt.
And Brown? “I think Brown might have been a little too strong for him.”
“Pernell,” said McGirt, “would have beat him for sure.”
MARTINEZ RECEIVES GIFT FROM BULLIED GIRL HE TOOK UNDER HIS WING
While speaking to reporters during a Thursday roundtable at a press conference promoting Saturday night’s bout against Macklin (28-3, 19 knockouts), Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) accepted a late birthday gift from 14-year-old Monique McClain, a girl he has mentored in the wake of her having been bullied by peers.
“I gave him the boxing movie, Real Steel, which is a robot movie. It’s kind of like a family movie. I think that he would enjoy it because he likes comedy,” McClain said of Martinez, who turned 37 last month.
“I gave him a shirt, because when we were in California, we had taken a picture and I put that on the back of the shirt. Right here [on the left side of the chest portion,] I also put a patch of the Argentina flag, where he is from.”
As a result of having taken on the issue of bullying, Martinez has counseled McClain, a developing female boxer from Middletown, Conn.
McClain recently returned to school thanks to Martinez’s encouragement after having quit as a result of abuse taken from her peers. She is attending the Macklin fight along with her mother, Alycia, and grandmother, Alexa, the latter of whom provided Martinez with a gift of her Rosary beads.
“He’s stepped in at a point in my life where I didn’t feel like I really had anyone. He supported me the whole way. Now I’m back in school, and he’s still helping me through it,” said McClain, who met Martinez through her boxing coach, John Callas, a professional referee.
“I started boxing before the bullying happened, and then I started to take it more seriously. It has been about a year and a half since the bullying started, and I’m back in school at Thomas Edison in Meridan, Conn. I was out of school for over two months because of the harrassment. The boxing has given me a second family, and Sergio has helped me to have a better outlook on life.”
MACKLIN SAYS HIS FISTS WILL DO THE TALKING AGAINST MARTINEZ
Macklin was last in the ring in June, when the Irishman lost a controversial split-decision to THE RING’S No. 2-rated contender, Felix Sturm, in the WBA beltholder’s native Germany.
Macklin told media members that he won’t blow his second straight shot at glory on Saturday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day.
“There are only two Irishmen that I will need on Saturday night, and that’s right here, Shamus and Paddy,” said Macklin, kissing his left hand and his right hand, respectively.
“It’s been a long road to get here, but I’m ready and I’m prepared. I’ve won everything along the way. I’ve won the Irish middleweight title, the British middleweight title, won the European championships. Should have won the WBA championship against Felix Sturm, but I lost a horrible decision. But I’m here now.”
“Don’t blink, it’s going to be an absolute blood and guts war,” said George, who is after his third straight knockout. “And I’m going to come out on top.”
George is nicknamed “The Bomb,” and Rodriguez, “La Bomba.”
“I’m going in looking for the knockout. People say that they’re not, but they’re liars. Everybody wants the knockout. It feels good, and it’s a lot more satisfying.”
ROBERT GUERRERO SIGNS TO FACE SELCUK AYDIN
THE RING’s No. 2-rated lightweight Robert Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs), a five-belt winner over the course of three divisions, has officially signed to face Germany’s unbeaten Selcuk “Mini Tyson” Aydin (23-0, 17 KOs) for the WBC’s interim belt on July 28, the fighter’s publicist announced on Thursday.
Aydin holds the WBC’s silver title, and Guerrero is a two-time IBF featherweight and one-time IBF junior lightweight beltholder who has won 13 consecutive fights with nine stoppages during that run.
“First, I’d like to thank Jesus Christ, Showtime Championship Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, HP Pavilion and the WBC for putting this event together,” said Guerrero, who will face Aydin in his hometown of San Jose.
“I’m very delighted to be making my comeback and there’s no other place than the Bay Area to bring home my sixth world title in four different weight classes. I’m dedicating this fight to the whole Bay Area and I promise to put on a great show.”
If victorious, Guerrero will be the first fighter in history to jump straight from lightweight to welterweight and win a championship. Hall of Famer Roberto Duran and Shane Mosley are others who have made the leap from lightweight to welterweight, but both had tune up fights before defeating Sugar Ray Leonard, and, Oscar De La Hoya, respectively, for their belts.
“Words can’t describe how hungry I am to get that WBC belt. This fight will be explosive without a doubt,” said Guerrero. “Aydin is a very good fighter and I respect everything he has accomplished but that 0’s got to go in San Jose.”
WBC Secretary General Mauricio Sulaiman said that the Aydin-Guerrero situation developed as a result of titleholder Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs) rising in weight to pursue his eighth title belt against WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto on May 5. In addition, Mayweather is scheduled to begin serving jail time on June 1.
“The WBC champion is Floyd Mayweather, and he’s fighting on May 5, and then he has a commitment that he has to attend to,” said Sulaiman. “The WBC has always and will always be in his support. So the WBC has agreed to sanction Aydin-Guerrero for the interim WBC championship.”
Photos / Ed Diller-DiBella Entertainment
Photo by Javiel Centeno, Fightwireimages