Middleweight contender and former two-time world title challenger Matthew “Mack The Knife” Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) caught up with TSS ahead of his much anticipated world title clash this Saturday against WBA/IBO middleweight titlist Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (26-0, 23 KOs). The bout will be televised live on HBO beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT from the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
“Gennady Golovkin is a good fighter,” Macklin told TSS. “He’s been willing to fight other top middleweights, but they haven’t been willing to fight him. I’m willing and ready. I can’t wait for the fight.”
Macklin said he respects Golovkin, but doesn’t believe him to be quite as invincible as he’s made out to be in the boxing press.
“Every fighter can get beat. There have been fighters as hyped, or even more so, than him in the past who have been beaten. No one thought Ricky Hatton would defeat Kostya Tszyu, but it happened.”
Macklin believes he matches up nicely against the hard-punching Golovkin, and will be the first to defeat him.
“Stylistically, he’s strong, he comes forward but he’s not the quickest. He’s got good timing, a good sense of distance, good balance…that kind of thing, but he’s no Floyd Mayweather. He doesn’t have the kind of speed that can be very difficult to deal with.”
That’s not to say Macklin believes Golovkin is a pushover.
“He’s strong and determined. He wants to impose his will, but you know, I’m very strong, too, and I like to impose my will. I’m a very determined man. Something’s got to give.”
According to Macklin, that something will be Golovkin, and after nabbing his title belts, Macklin says he’ll be ready to make intriguing fights versus domestic rivals Andy Lee, Martin Murray and Matthew Barker.
“Yeah, definitely,” said Macklin of potential big money matchups. “I think those fights will happen, and it’d be a lot better if there was a world title on the line when it does. So after Saturday night, when I beat Golovkin, that’s the time to make those fights.”
Macklin has traded words with all three men at one time or another through the media. Most recently, it was with former world title challenger Andy Lee. Still, Macklin told TSS he isn’t looking for a bout against any one particular rival over the others.
“I’ve got nothing personal against any of them. It’s just whatever fight comes up really. Andy Lee was offered the fight a couple of times, and he turned it down. I was due to fight Darren Barker back in 2010, but he had to pull out about 10 days before with an injury. Murray and I…well, we’ve said some things back and forth through the press. We don’t get along too well, but I respect him as a fighter. That could be a good fight if it happens, too. I respect all of them, and whichever fight makes the most sense at the time, that’s the fight I’ll go for.”
Before any of that, of course, Macklin said he expects to win a slugfest over Golovkin. It’s exactly the type of opponent he likes to bang with, he said, someone who will unabashedly trade leather with him in the center of the ring.
“It’s tough going and grueling but you kind of enjoy it in your own little sick way.”
And so should we.