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Matthew Macklin lines up December fight against Willie Nelson*

*No, not that Willie Nelson.

Macklin: will have old foe Jamie Moore in his corner this time.
Macklin: will have old foe Jamie Moore in his corner this time.
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

MATTHEW MACKLIN AND Jamie Moore are set to do battle again later this year — but this time they will be in the same corner.

Seven years on from their epic clash, Moore will help to train Macklin for his return to the ring against Willie Nelson on 7 December.

The two met at light-middleweight in 2006 with Moore winning a title fight that would go down as one of the best in British history.

YouTube Credit: LDyn

He moved into coaching following his retirement and now he is aiming to get his one-time foe back on track for another world title shot.

“I was already friends with Matthew before we fought and that only strengthened the bond and over the years we have always kept in touch.

“Since our fight I’ve watched him improve, adapt and become a world class fighter and I want to help him realise his dream of becoming a world champion.”

He added: “It’s not about making any major changes to Matthew’s style at this stage in his career. It’s more about ironing out wrinkles and getting Matthew to box to his strengths and come up with the right game plan.”

The Atlantic City fight, which will be televised live on HBO, will be Macklin’s first fight since losing to Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in June.

That was his third defeat in the space of two years, taking his record to 29-5, but at 31 another emphatic win could put him back in the title picture.

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Country singer Willie Nelson: not the guy Macklin is fighting (Hans Pennink/Press Association Images)

Cleveland’s Nelson is currently the NABF light-middlweight champion. The 26-year-old comes into the bout with just one defeat on his CV against Vincent Arroyo in 2011.

“It’s a dangerous fight but I’m not one to duck a challenge,” Macklin said.

“[Nelson] has quite a few early KOs so I’ll have to be careful early on but I’m confident that I can get the win.”

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Niall Kelly

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