The wait is over...Moore vs. Macklin Preview

By Sam Doleman


The wait is over...Moore vs. Macklin Preview

Salford’s British Light Middleweight Champion, Jamie Moore will put his title on the line this Friday night against Birmingham’s Mathew Macklin. The long awaited and eagerly anticipated clash will take place at the George Carnell leisure centre, Greater Manchester, England.

Twenty-seven year old Moore will be hoping to win the Lonsdale belt outright, whilst twenty-four year old Macklin will be looking to emerge victorious from his first British title challenge, and upset the champion’s future plans to move towards a European title tilt.

Macklin, who currently trains from Billy Graham’s Phoenix gym in Manchester, has an impressive 17-0-1 (13) record with his only defeat coming to Andrew Facey, on points, some three years ago. Macklin challenged Facey for the English Light Middleweight title in only his tenth pro fight, a fight too soon, for the then twenty-one year old Macklin. The slightly more experienced Facey took the decision, and the title, by a single point. Facey would move on to compete for the British Light Middleweight title in his next outing. Jamie Moore was the opponent that stood between Facey and the coveted Lonsdale belt. Moore duly decked the Wolverhampton man five times en route to a seventh round stoppage.

Macklin has slowly rebuilt his career following the defeat to Facey. A run of eight straight wins, with seven inside the distance has reiterated Macklin’s intent to become Britain’s number one Light Middleweight. A knockout win over Scott Dixon, who inflicted Jamie Moore’s first defeat back in 2001, and more recently a one round blow out win over tough Russian Alexy Chirkov, cemented Macklin’s resurgence on the domestic scene. In his most recent outing Macklin fought Polish born Marcin Piatkowski. Piatkowsi had taken solid punching British Middleweight, and former commonwealth champion, Richard Williams the distance over eight, and was expected to provide Macklin with a tough nights work. From the first, Macklin applied controlled pressure. Working behind a ram-rod left jab, Macklin looked to scythe down the pole with some heavy handed shots to the body. By the end of the third, the pole was visibly disheartened. The end was nigh as Macklin drove in a right to the body at the start of the fourth, a shot which dropped his opponent. A left hook to the body followed the re-start, this time the pole had no intention of continuing in what had been a very one sided affair.

It was clear to see that Macklin had grown into a man. Macklin now looks like a big Light Middleweight. He has publicly thanked nutritionist Kerry Keys for the improvement in physique and power. He has a high work rate, surely attained from sparring round after round with his chief sparring partner, Ricky Hatton. In his arsenal he posses some of Hatton’s trademark body shots, along with a thudding lead left jab.
Macklin left university, following attaining three a-levels, to pursue a career in boxing. His trainers state he is a dream to work with, always listening, rarely needing to be told twice. Concerns over his footwork have previously been raised, to combat the problem Macklin studied video tapes of Joe Louis, a fine example to any young boxer of how to manoeuvre when in the ring.

Current British Light Middleweight Champion Jamie Moore, or Moorsey as he is also known, sports a 24-3 (17) record. Moore can quite simply be described as one of the finest, and most exciting boxers currently gracing the domestic battlefield. During his famous trilogy with Liverpool’s Michael Jones, Moore demonstrated almost every attribute needed when stepping through the ropes. Moore took the first fight at late notice, due to the withdrawal of Paul Samuels, to challenge the then unbeaten Liverpudlian in his own backyard for the vacant British and Commonwealth Light Middleweight titles. Moore stepped into the lions den at the Everton Sports Centre, but was undaunted and without fear. Moore nullified Jones’s height and reach, and floored the favourite in the third. The gritty and determined performance that followed the knockdown, led to a points victory and the titles travelling to Salford.

It was nineteen months before a rematch between the two transpired. This time Moore was to have home advantage and the mantle of British champion (Moore had lost the commonwealth belt to Ossie Duran in the fight prior to the Jones re-match). By the third round Moore was beginning to turn the screw, and take control of the fight. As the two fighters clinched near the corner, referee Dave Parris called for a break, just as Moore threw a right hook. The hook connected and Jones went down, refusing to continue. The only option the referee had was to disqualify Moore, and award Jones with the title. Moore and his team were disappointed and claimed Jones had chosen to stay down. Jones claimed the punch had landed flush and he was unable to continue.

At one win a piece the third and deciding fight was arranged. A healthy grudge had developed between the two. Jones aggrieved at the time it took Moore to grant a rematch for the titles he had missed out on in their first fight. Moore aggrieved at the manner the titles were taken from him in their second. From the first bell, the third contest was an intriguing grudge match and trilogy decider. The first two rounds were contested at an ample pace with Moore landing the cleaner work. It was during the third round that the contest exploded into life. Moore was floored twice, had Jones timed his punches better following the second knockdown Moore may well have been out of the contest. Just as the round was coming to a close Moore landed with a shot of his own. Jones reeled back, and seconds later the bell sounded. Moore found his feet again in the fourth, before knocking Jones down twice in the fifth, and finishing him in the sixth. During the contest Moore demonstrated the heart, and never say die attitude of a true champion. He also demonstrated that he could be hurt, a more experienced, or better punch picker would have had Moore out in the fourth.

Since his trilogy decider with Michael Jones Moore has been victorious three times. His last, a sound win, and strong performance against tough Belgian Middleweight Mike Aloget. All three of these victories have been via technical knockout, all three have seen Moore overwhelm his opponent with his swarming, relentless style.

British boxing enthusiasts have been divided in the build up to what promises to be a genuine ‘fight of the year’ contender.

In the one corner we have Jamie Moore, the rugged, battle hardened warhorse, who will come to fight. His aim will be to outwork Macklin, get to him on the inside, eventually breaking him up. Moore will use all his guile, and experience to drag the Birmingham man into a brawl, a war of nutrition, and a test of Macklin’s mental strength. There is no doubting that for Macklin to take the title back to Birmingham, Moore will have to be carried from the ring. Moore can sometimes be guilty of a static defence. Gloves up high, but very little lateral movement, and no backward steps when his opponent is throwing leather back. Macklin could capitalise on this by aiming shots to the body when Moore becomes static with gloves up.

In the opposite corner we have Matthew Macklin. Fresh faced, clean punching, and yet has that devil that is attributed to the phoenix gym production line. The devil that’s a direct result of 15 hard rounds on Billy Graham’s body belt. And the devil that’s taken Ricky Hatton all the way to multiple genuine world honours. Macklin will have no qualms on going to war with Moore. He has all the attributes to beat the Salford man at his own game. He has the power to make Moore think twice on carelessly wading in, and the left jab, which could prove to win the fight and keep Moore at bay. The question that remains is whether Macklin has the grit, determination, and mental strength, to weather a sustained Moore storm. We know Moore will get up, dust himself down, and go again. But will Macklin? Can Moore drag Macklin into the deep waters of the later rounds, before grinding out a victory? Macklin has never completed or been scheduled to fight twelve rounds, Moore has been the distance once and been scheduled to fight twelve a total of nine times.

The pick: The age old saying in boxing ‘styles make fights’ was written for bouts like this. There is no doubt in my mind that the contest will be something special. As for picking a winner, Moore by late TKO. My bet is he may suffer a knockdown or two along the way.


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