Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Lem’s lastest: Macklin vows a beat-down for Golovkin



NEW YORK — On Sept. 29, 2001, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Bernard Hopkins’ 12th-round stoppage of Felix Trinidad unified the middleweight division for the first time since 1987.

Trinidad’s record before that night was 40 fights, 40 wins, 33 knockouts.

During last Saturday afternoon’s promotional press conference at Gallagher’s Steak House in New York, middleweight challenger Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20 knockouts) shared a prediction of how he will similarly vanquish WBA 160-pound titleholder Gennady Golovkin (26-0, 23 KOs) when they clash on June 29 in an HBO-televised matchup in Mashantucket, Conn.

“This fight reminds me a lot of the Trinidad-Bernard Hopkins fight when you had the knockout specialist in Trinidad who was an undefeated guy with a lot of power. Felix Trinidad fought Bernard Hopkins, who had a couple of losses,” said Macklin, who turns 31 in May.

“But Bernard Hopkins had learned a lot from those losses and came back a seasoned, hard professional. During that fight, he out-fought, out-maneuvered and out-hustled and out-punched an eventually knocked out the supposed knockout specialist in Felix Trinidad, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen on June 29.”

Golovkin, who turned 31 on April 8, will pursue his 14th straight stoppage victory against Macklin in an event that is being promoted by K2 and DiBella Entertainment.

The Kazakhstan-born Golovkin is coming off last month’s third-round knockout of Nobuhiro Ishida, who was stopped for the first time in his career. The win over Ishida followed Golovkin’s bloody, seventh-round stoppage of Gabriel Rosado at New York’s Madison Square Garden in January.

“Hopkins-Trinidad, that’s something that me and my brother spoke about when the fight with Gennady first came to mind. I was like, ‘I want to fight him.’ When it was made clear that this opportunity was here, I knew that it might not ever be there again. So I want this fight. I want to be the guy that beats him. Everyone gets beaten, and he’s going to get beaten,” said Macklin.

“Now, Gennady, he’s a helluva fighter, but everyone gets beaten, and I want to be the guy that hands him his first loss. It’s the losses that make you a better fighter. When things happen, you can say, ‘I’ve been here before, and I’m going to get through it.’ Felix Trinidad was plowing through everyone, but in the same way that Hopkins beat Trinidad, that’s how this fight’s going to go. Trust me.”

Macklin was last in the ring for September’s first-round stoppage of ex-titleholder Joachim Alcine that helped him to rebound from consecutive setbacks against RING champion Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm.

“Gennady is fighting me, and I’m by far the biggest puncher he will have ever fought. That’s got to be in his mind, and it’s something that will be in my mind also. That will be a big factor in the fight, because he’s not going to be able to just walk in on me the way that he has some of his past opponents,” said Macklin, who floored Martinez in the seventh before being dropped, himself, twice in the final round.

“You look at the heyday of the middleweight division, with Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale, who fought each other in rematches and trilogies, Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano who fought each other so many times. Those were all great fighters. Even the in the Sugar Ray Leonard, Robert Duran, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns era. They’re the kinds of fights that I want to be involved in.”

Macklin and Golovkin were in New York for last Saturday night’s unanimous decision by WBA junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux that dethroned RING and WBO champion Nonito Donaire at Radio City Music Hall two days after Donaire had been named Fighter of The Year, and his trainer, Robert Garcia, named Trainer of The Year at the Boxing Writers’ Association of America dinner.



In his last fight in September, Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs), who is 38, rose from a 12th-round knockdown for a unanimous-decision victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs) that earned the WBC belt. On April 27, Martinez will make a defense against British contender Martin Murray (25-0-1, 11 KOs) in Martinez’s native Argentina.

Murray fought ex-WBA beltholder Sturm to a draw in December of 2011, and is coming off November’s sixth-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Jorge Navarro (12-1, 10 KOs).

Meanwhile, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said he expects Chavez and RING and WBO featherweight champion Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia to return to the ring on June 22 in Texas on HBO.

Top candidates to face Chavez are Darren Barker (25-1, 16 KOs) and Bryan Vera (23-6, 14 KOs). Barker has scored two straight knockouts since being stopped by Martinez in the 11th round in October of 2011. Vera has won four consecutive fights, including the past two by stoppage, since being decisioned by Andy Lee in October of 2011.

Promoter Lou DiBella said the berth against Martinez could go to Golovkin with a convincing win over Macklin.

“There’s a chance that Sergio Martinez could fight the winner of this fight, absolutely. I mean, Sergio is going to be coming to this fight for a reason. But Sergio’s got to beat Martin Murray, and that’s not an easy fight because Sergio is 38 years old,” said DiBella, who handles both Martinez and Macklin.

“And there is going to be a lot of pressure fighting in front of 42,000 people in your home town on April 27 on HBO. He’s coming to Foxwoods, and Matthew and Sergio are friends, but he has tremendous respect for Gennady, and he’s coming as a fan, but he’s also coming to scout the opposition.”

Asked if Martinez-Golovkin could precede Martinez-Chavez II, DiBella said, “I certainly think that you could argue that Gennady is more deserving if he beats Matthew,” adding, “But I’m not going to conjecture and I’m not going to look past this fight.”


Martinez’s advisor, Sampson Lewkowicz, is promoting Friday night’s ESPN2-televised triple-header from the Tropicana Showroom in the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City whose main event features Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (21-0, 15 KOs), of the Dominican Republic, against Mexican Miguel “Mikol” Zamudio (25-1-1, 13 KOs).

Also scheduled are John “Dah Rock” Jackson (15-1, 14 KOs), of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and “Sir” Cerresso Fort (16-0-1, 11 KOs), of St. Paul, Minn.

A third bout matches Emmanuel Lartei Lartey (14-0-1, 7 KOs), of Ghana, against Jonathan Batista (13-0, 6 KOs), of the Dominican Republic. 


Arum said the leading candidate for Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) could be Orlando Cruz (19-2-1, 9 KOs), who has scored four straight victories, including three knockout wins since being stopped himself in consecutive losses to Cornelius Lock and Daniel Ponce de Leon in September of 2009 and February of 2010.

Garcia is coming off January’s eighth-round, technical-decision victory over Orlando Salido at New York’s Madison Square Garden.



On Tuesday, WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs), who will next face rising WBC lightweight beltholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) on June 22 on Showtime, weighed in on Rigondeaux-Donaire.

“I thought he fought a very smart fight. He made Donaire look ordinary, and that is not easy to do. I don’t get it [the criticism of Rigondeaux’s performance.] If it was not that easy, then wouldn’t Donaire have gotten off more? There’s not much difference between casual boxing fans and hardcore boxing fans. Neither knows s–t about boxing,” said Malignaggi, 32.

“It’s just hardcores watch boxing every week. Rigondeaux started the fight more aggressively than I expected, then kind of tapered off and sat back yet continued to win rounds. In the last round, he came out trying to close the show. When it comes to boxing, this culture — American — is probably the most ignorant of all cultures that watch boxing. That includes most of the boxing media here as well.”

Malignaggi will be working for Showtime as a ringside commentator when the network televises this Saturday’s junior middleweight clash between WBC titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Austin Trout for the vacant RING magazine belt at the Alamodome in San Antonio.



Junior middleweight Alantez “SlyAza” Fox (10-0-1, four knockouts), a 6-foot-5 prospect who turned 21 In March 13, will return to the ring on Saturday night at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., against Djolevi Ballogou (8-4, 6 KOs), of Lome, Togo.

Fox, of Forestville, Md., is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Greg Hackett on March 2 that followed January’s unanimous decision win over Julius Kennedy, with each of his past two triumphs taking place at The Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, Md.

Below is the full list of Saturday night’s matchups at Show Place:

Junior Middleweights ÔÇó 6 rd ÔÇó Alantez “SlyAza” Fox (10-0-1) vs. Djolevi Ballogo (8-4)

Junior Middleweights ÔÇó 4 rd ÔÇó “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (5-0) vs. Greg Hacket (2-10)

Junior Welterweights ÔÇó 4 rd ÔÇó Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed (1-0) vs. Cassius Clay (0-7)

Super Middleweights ÔÇó 4 rd ÔÇó Devar “The Warrior” Ferhadi vs. P.J. Cajagas (0-0-1)    

Featherweights ÔÇó 4 rd ÔÇó Gervonta “Rambo” Davis (1-0) vs. Jacob Ninow (pro debut)

Junior Lightweights ÔÇó 4 rd ÔÇó Kevin “K-Smoov” Rivers (5-0) vs. Carlos Alcala (pro debut)

Cruiserweights ÔÇó 4 rd ÔÇó Mario Murphy (1-0) vs. Devon Gravely (pro debut)

Heavyweights ÔÇó 4 rd ÔÇó Ytalo Perea Castillo (1-0) vs. Glenn Thomas (pro debut)



Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]



Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Juan Marshall

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]