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Macklin ready to risk it all for Golovkin

Nick Parkinson
October 15, 2014
Matthew Macklin, left, defeated Jose Yebes by majority decision © Getty Images

Matthew Macklin faces Argentine Jorge Sebastian Heiland in a WBC world middleweight title eliminator in Dublin on November 15 and the Birmingham boxer tells ESPN how he hopes victory will set up a clash with British rival Martin Murray before a rematch with Gennady Golovkin, the world No.1 who is in action this weekend.

Since losing to Gennady Golovkin in three rounds in June of last year, I've won on points over ten rounds and over eight rounds and I would probably only give myself five or six out of ten for each of them. But this fight against Heiland will be my first meaningful fight since Golovkin and it's an eliminator for the WBC world middleweight title. It will bring out the best in me and I'm expecting to be a lot better.

In my recent fight [against Jose Yebes, won on points in Germany on September 27], my best rounds were seven and eight so you could see as the fight went on I was getting sharper and shaking off a bit of rust. I tried as hard as any other fight I've had in training but I didn't know who I was fighting until a few days before it and then I was first fight of the night in front of a few people in big empty arena. When you've been boxing in world title fights, I just found it hard to get up for it and it felt like a sparring session. It took a while to get out of the sparring mode and into some sort of rhythm, but I always felt like I was in control. It was good to get it out the way so I can concentrate on the next one.

Miguel Cotto is the WBC champion and I would love to fight him - he's a legend of the sport. Cotto is not a fully-fledged middleweight in my opinion and he's had a lot of hard, hard fights so I would love that fight over in America with him. But there are a lot of ifs, buts and maybes about it because he's chasing the super fights against the big names of the sport. The likelihood is that he will fight Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in May.

Murray's just treading water and you can't play a waiting game, you need to take risks to make things happen

All I know that winning my next fight puts me in line and a fight away from a world title fight. Maybe I could end up fighting Martin Murray in a final eliminator for the WBC title, and that would be a big fight. It's going in the right direction.

I would love to fight Murray. It was a shame a fight with Darren Barker never came together but it was circumstances, injuries and people turned in the wrong direction. But this could be a final eliminator for the WBC title, something you just can't walk away from. Martin is ranked high with the WBC [No.1] and if I beat Heiland, who is ranked at No.4 with the WBC, it's very possible we will meet next year. The WBC will order the fight and there's no backing out, because it's a fight that means something.

I was surprised when Murray didn't sign for a British promoter like Eddie Hearn and signed with a South African promoter. He's just treading water and you can't play a waiting game, you need to take risks to make things happen. Murray probably did avoid Golovkin because he was WBA interim champion when Golovkin was the real WBA champion and it didn't happen. They were supposed to fight in Monte Carlo, but nothing happened and it wasn't because Golovkin didn't want it. But hopefully he wins his next fight and we can fight.

Another possible fight for me if all goes well is Andy Lee - and that's a fight that will happen next year, I believe. He hasn't really beaten anyone and he looked poor in his last fight but then he pulled out a great punch. We've all had bad performances but now he's fighting for the WBO world title against Matt Korborov [in Las Vegas on December 13] I hear, and I hope he wins it.

Aside from Golovkin, I would fancy my chances against any other middleweight in the world. If I do get a world title and get to defend it once, I would love to fight Golovkin again. I wouldn't be confident of beating him because I think he's the best middleweight in the world, but I would be confident of giving him a hell of a fight because I didn't do that last time. I didn't get the chance to leave my mark on him last time and it wasn't a true reflection of my ability. Once I defend the world title, I would love to put everything on the line against him one more time.

Gennady Golovkin has already replaced Borat as the world's most famous person from Kazakhstan and if he continues on his current trajectory, the world's best middleweight will replace Floyd Mayweather Jr as boxing's pound-for-pound king.

Gennady Golovkin is the reigning WBA and IBO middleweight champion © Getty Images
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