Matthew Macklin says a shot at Sergio Martinez is getting closer
Birmingham middleweight Matthew Macklin believes a fight with him is one of the biggest options available to WBC diamond champion Sergio Martinez.
Macklin, 29, recently signed with Martinez's promotion team and wants a showdown in New York in early 2012.
"Being in a massive world title fight at Madison Square Garden is the stuff every boxer dreams of and it's close to becoming a reality," Macklin said.
"I've proved in my career that the bigger the stage the better I perform."
The Solihull fighter, a former British and two-times European champion, impressed many with his performance in losing by a controversial split-decision to Germany's Felix Sturm for the WBA Super title in June 2011.
After a rematch with Sturm could not be agreed, Macklin signed with promoter Lou DiBella and moved to New York to help enhance his profile on the other side of the Atlantic.
"I'm enjoying life in New York. I felt it was important to move here so I can build a fanbase if I am going to be fighting here on a regular basis," Macklin said.
"I'm determined to give the city and the huge Irish community here a fighter to be proud of."
Martinez, 36, is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and has lost only once in the last 12 years.
His last fight, in October 2011, resulted in a technical knock-out in the 11th round against Britain's Darren Barker.
Macklin was ringside that night and is bullish about his chances when he finally gets to meet the Argentine, with St Patrick's Day in New York being being touted as a likely date.
"On that performance, he was lucky he wasn't in the ring with me because I would've knocked him out," Macklin said.
"I think Darren Barker did better than people expected but I also think Sergio underperformed.
"I believe that my power will be too much for him. He'll have to up his game tenfold if he wants to hear the final bell against me, but I would expect him to and wouldn't want it any other way."