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Matthew Macklin confirms Irish homecoming fight in Dublin next month

Is this the final step on the road to a Macklin v Lee showdown?

Macklin and Hearn in the MGM Marbella gym yesterday.
Macklin and Hearn in the MGM Marbella gym yesterday.
Image: Matthew Macklin via Twitter

MATTHEW MACKLIN WILL return to Ireland for his long-awaited homecoming next month, with strong speculation that the fight will be the precursor to a showdown with Andy Lee.

The former world title contender will headline a Dublin fight night on 30 August, promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

Hearn confirmed the Dublin date this morning and promised an official announcement with further details next Wednesday.

“5yrs since I boxed in Ireland & 4yrs since I boxed in UK,” Macklin tweeted. “Nice to be fighting back over this side of the Atlantic!”

Hearn — who smashed British boxing records with the Carl Froch-George Groves rematch this summer — visited Macklin in his Marbella gym yesterday, fuelling speculation about their imminent deal.

The middleweight’s last Irish fight was in December 2009 when he beat Rafael Sosa Pintos on points in Dublin’s National Stadium.

That is the most likely venue for what will be the capital’s biggest pro bill since Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey took on Guillermo Rigondeaux three years ago.

Macklin’s win over Pintos paved the way to a series of world title shots, including the controversial split decision defeat against Felix Sturm in Germany.

He was then outclassed but far from disgraced against pound-for-pound king Sergio Martinez in the second of his three title fights, and also lost against the undefeated WBA middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin last year.

Now he finally looks to be on a collision course with Lee in a fight which has been anticipated for years.

That showdown could take place in Dublin later this year, according to a report in today’s Irish Sun.

Both fighters are on the record in favour of a meeting, with Lee telling TheScore.ie last week: “I still want the fight and hopefully it’ll happen later in the year. I think it’s a barnstormer of a fight.

“Our rivalry has grown over the years. We both would hate to lose to each other.

“I know I will win, he believes he will win… hopefully we’ll soon find out who’s right!”

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Niall Kelly

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