WE MAY AT last see Irish middleweights Andy Lee and Matthew Macklin face off next year.
Last night Macklin admitted that though a rematch with Feliz Sturm is top of his priorities, an all-Irish showdown is still on the cards in 2014.
“The Lee fight is still a fight I’d be very open to,” he said on Off The Ball. “I’ve always wanted it. It’s bigger now than it ever was. But obviously Felix Sturm beating Darren Barker in the fashion that he did, if he wants to give me a rematch, then it’s a fight I’d jump at. It’s a fight I won in the first place and was robbed. I think he owes me a rematch,”
Lee for his part has responded this morning, insisting that a fight with Macklin is what Irish fight fans want to see.
“Matthew and I have both fought recently, we’re both from Ireland, we’re both middleweights, we’re similarly rated, we’re both in a similar position in our careers. So let’s give the boxing public the fight they crave for and let the best man win,” says the Limerick man.
“This is a massive fight in Ireland, Boston, Chicago or New York and will pack any venue. I am ready for the fight, we both have the same promoter, Lou DiBella therefore the fight can easily be put together.”
Macklin has lost in three world title challenges, losing a split decision to WBA Champion Sturm, in Germany in June 2011 first time out. Last summer, Lee lost in his first world title bid — in a seventh round stoppage — to Mexican WBC Champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in El Paso, Texas.
“The fight would be a critical moment in both fighters’ careers, a win for either of us would propel us to a world title fight again,” says 29-year-old Lee, “whoever wins the fight will go on and whoever loses the fight will have to either pack it in or start again. It is a fight I want; people talk about it all the time, so let’s make it happen.”