Boxers in move for St Patrick’s Day showdown

Boxers in move for St Patrick’s Day showdown

BRITISH-BASED Irish middleweights Matthew Macklin and Andy Lee are close to signing a fight deal which would bring them to Dublin on St Patrick's Day.

Speaking to The Irish Post, former Olympian and Emanuel Steward protégé, Lee, who now fights out of London said both he and Birmingham-Irish boxer Macklin have expressed their desire to arrange the contest, with the Limerick southpaw declaring his wish that: “it was made official.”

“There have been no formal talks yet,” said the 29-year old. “But I’ve said I want the fight and he said he wants the fight so it would be nice if it was made official.”

One boxing insider suggested that if the fight does get fixed then Dublin is a likely venue for the middleweights and there is already talk of the bout being held on St Patrick’s Day in the Irish capital.

Madison Square Garden in New York was also mooted as a likely venue.

In his last fight, the popular Birmingham-Irish fighter Macklin was outclassed by Gennady Golovkin in a world title contest that ended with a third round knock-out for the one-time underage Tipperary hurler.

Previously, Macklin lost a disputed points decision to Felix Sturm in his first world title fight and was heroic in defeat to Sergio Martinez last year.

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Meanwhile, the Barry McGuigan managed Carl Frampton will defend his European super-bantamweight title against Jeremy Parodi in Belfast on Saturday.

The London-based Shane McGuigan trained Frampton is hoping to extend his unbeaten record and set up a shot at IBF title holder Kiko Martinez.

Frampton stopped Martinez in his last fight in February but the Spaniard rebounded to win the IBF world title in August against Jonathan Romero.

“Kiko’s the one that we want and I have already spoken to his people,” said McGuigan.

“You can never say anything is certain in boxing but money will not be an issue. We have the financial backing to bring Carl’s world title shot to Belfast.

“If Carl does the business against Parodi then his next fight should be for the world title.”