Brave Macklin Surrenders In 11th Round

Sergio Martinez beat Matthew Macklin by a technical knockout at Madison Square Garden in New York last night to remain the world middleweight champion.

It wasn’t plain sailing for the formidable fighter though. Tipperary Tornado Macklin has no doubt endeared himself to the boxing world by giving world champion Martinez arguably his toughest match of his career.

The Irish fighter battled valiantly with the Argentinian, trading heavy blows what for what was a pretty even contest. However Martinez floored Macklin twice in the 11th round forcing his camp to throw in the towel.

Macklin (29) felt he was in control for much of the fight. He said on Sky Sports 1: “I thought I had the most momentum, I thought I was in the driver’s seat. Some of the rounds were close but I thought I was dictating.

“I was the one that was boxing to the game plan, and I was taking him out of his.”

Macklin explained he took a more cautious and technical approach to the fight than usual.

He said: “Putting reckless pressure on would have been detrimental so I tried to feint, move my head, box, take him out of his rhythm, upset him a little bit and ease my way into the fight, then start putting the pressure on.”

The tactic was a good one and some observers had him level or even ahead once the glove of Martinez, the heavy favourite with bookmakers, touched the canvas in the seventh round.

Thereafter though it was all about the 37-year-old, who upped his game and dominated from then.

Asked what changed as the fight wore on, Macklin said: “I switched off a little bit upstairs, stopped moving my head a little bit.

“It wasn’t extreme fatigue because it wasn’t that sort of fight but I certainly slowed a little bit, stopped moving my head, got a bit heavy on my feet and he caught me square a few times.

“That allowed him to get his confidence up and get into his rhythm.”

“I’ve never ever quit,” said Macklin. “I wanted to continue. I gave it 100%. I think anyone who watched would agree. Hopefully I didn’t let anyone down.”

With Martinez nearing the twilight of his career, the stage looks set for Macklin to take over his reign as world champion. Whether he will get a rematch with the Argentine remains to be seen but Macklin will remain firm in the belief that his time will come and few would argue against him.

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