MATTHEW MACKLIN believes he could challenge WBC Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto next if he can see off Jorge Sebastian Heiland at The 3Arena in Dublin on November 15, live on Sky Sports.
Macklin meets WBC International champion Heiland in an eliminator for Cotto’s crown as big time boxing returns to Ireland’s capital, with the winner gunning for Cotto who ripped the title from Sergio Martinez.
The Irishman is focused on the dangerous Argentine he faces in Dublin, but admits that the carrot of challenging Cotto has him dreaming of a return to the Big Apple or even an outdoor spectacular in Dublin.
“Cotto is such a big draw in New York City at Madison Square Garden, but if you can do 60,000 people at Croke Park then the economics of the fight change,” said Macklin. “If the fight captures the imagination and sells out a stadium, you can bring anyone, anywhere. That’s the dream.
“Challenging Cotto in New York would be an incredible experience – to face someone of his stature there. But that’s a lot of wins to put together first.”
If Macklin can do the job against Heiland then his interest in Irish rival Andy Lee’s clash with Matt Korobov for the vacant WBO belt in December. Lee travels to Las Vegas to tackle the unbeaten Russian and Macklin
“I think Andy has got a good chance,” said Macklin. “Styles make fights and Korobov is a technical counter-punching southpaw, he’ll give Andy room and time and Andy performs better if he’s allowed that, he’s a class act. If he can win that then me and Andy fighting for the World title is massive. It’s a huge fight anyway but a World title is that key element. I’ll be rooting for him for selfish reasons but also because he’s flying the flag for Irish boxing too and he’s a good lad, so I hope he does the business for himself and also as it sets up a potential fight for us.”
Macklin tops a great bill in the Irish capital with a pair of grudge matches between Michael Sweeney and Ian Tims at Cruiserweight and Gary O’Sullivan and Anthony Fitzgerald at Middleweight, Featherweight contenders Patrick Hyland and John Simpson target British, European and Commonwealth champion Josh Warrington after their clash, there’s a first hometown fight for amateur star John Joe Nevin, Kal Yafai defends his Commonwealth Super Flyweight crown, while unbeaten Dubliners Declan Geraghty and Luke Keeler both fight in their seventh fights and exciting Stourbridge Welterweight Sam Eggington.