Promoters Add Matthew Macklin To Joshua-Martin Card – Fast rising British star Anthony Joshua meets IBF heavyweight kingpin Charles Martin at London’s O2 Arena (aka the Millennium Dome) on April 9. The event reportedly sold out in 90 seconds.
On Thursday, February 18, it was announced that Matthew Macklin (34-6, 22 KOs) will oppose fellow Englishman Brian Rose (28-3-1, 8 KOs) in one of the main supporting bouts. Macklin, born in England of Irish parentage, is a former British and European middleweight champion who is 0-3 in world title bouts vs. Felix Sturm, Sergio Martinez, and Gennady Golovkin.
Macklin is the titular head of the MGM gym (the initials stand for Macklin Gym Marbella) in the Marbella community of Costa del Sol on the southern coast of Spain. It’s widely believed that Macklin is merely fronting for the leaders of the Christy Kinahan drug cartel which imports drugs to Ireland from their base in southern Spain.
Macklin Gym Marbella co-promoted the Feb. 6 boxing card at Dublin’s National Stadium, an event that was scuttled in the wake of a brazen gangland shooting at the pre-fight weigh-in, held at North Dublin’s Regency Hotel. Thirty-four-year-old David Byrne, a Kinahan associate described as a career criminal, was shot dead and two of his cohorts were wounded. Some of the perpetrators — as many as six according to news reports — carried assault rifles. They were careful not to injure innocent bystanders during the carefully planned attack.
The police were quick to define the incident as a revenge killing. Byrne had been implicated in the murder in Marbella of Gary Hutch, the nephew of Gerry “Monk” Hutch, Christy Kinahan’s chief rival.
Promoters Add Matthew Macklin To Joshua-Martin Card
Within days of Byrne’s assssination, the turf war claimed another victim. On the evening of Feb. 8, “Monk” Hutch’s brother Eddie Hutch Sr, a 59-year-old father of five, was shot dead in the front hallway of his Dublin home by four masked intruders.
Police were out in force for David Byrne’s funeral. Floral tributes were swept for possible explosives before they were allowed in the church. Large sections of Dublin were closed off to accommodate the procession to the cemetery.
Matthew Macklin has never been accused of a crime, but he has been photographed in the company of a convicted drug dealer and is reportedly a close friend of Daniel Kinahan, a son of the famous Irish crime lord. His fights have always been well-attended by members of the Kinahan faction.
Nowadays, all public gatherings require security, the scale of which far exceeds what was the norm in a less troubled time. One surmises that security will be especially tight at the big boxing show in London on April 9.
Check out this video about the heavyweight division at The Boxing Channel