Boxing

Matthew Macklin to retire if he loses to Jason Welborn

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Matthew Macklin has confirmed this week that he will hang up his gloves if he doesn't beat Jason Welborn in October.

The 33-year-old is dropping down a weight to light-middle to take on Welborn, who has won 17 of his 20 fights, losing the other three.

The fight was made after Macklin's original opponent, Commonwealth Champion Sam Eddington, pulled out to face ex-world amateur champion Frankie Gavin.

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Fine margins

The three-time world title challenger already flirted with retirement after his crushing knock-out defeat to Jorge Heiland last November, before coming back and defeating Sandor Micsko within two rounds in May.

The former British and European middle-weight champion told BBC Sport: "If I lost I would definitely retire. I still want to be world champion. It's a step down for me but sometimes you have to regroup."

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After being asked about moving down to Welborn's weight-division, Macklin said: "They're probably hoping I struggle to make the weight but it's not going to happen. I feel like going down to 154 pounds will give me a new lease of life."

A decent career

Even if the October fight doesn't go the way of the Birmingham-born boxer, he can look back on a successful career. After domestic and European titles, he mixed it at world level in a very competitive middle-weight division, without being able to take that extra step to claim a world belt.

After a controversial split decision lose to Felix Sturm for the WBA belt, which many agree could have gone Macklin's way if the fight had not been staged in Sturm's home country of Germany, he traveled over to New York to take on Argentine great Sergio Martinez. 

Although he troubled Martinez in Madison Square Garden, having had him on the floor early on, the tough South American came back to stop Macklin in round 11.

Golovkin loss

Macklin's third world title bout came against arguably the second best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, Gennady Golovkin. He couldn't deal with pedigree that his opponent showed and was outclassed. Ultimately Golovkin halted him with a destructive body shot within three rounds.

Of course Macklin may not have to just win his clash with Welborn if he still has hopes to challenge for world honours. A convincing display will probably be needed to propel him back into the mix for the top belts, and a loss would rule that out entirely.

Boxing fans, should Macklin hang up his gloves if he can't beat Welborn? Let us know in the comments box below.

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