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Page last updated at 22:47 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 23:47 UK

Stunning Macklin lands Euro belt

Matthew Macklin
Macklin was too good for a top-10 ranked opponent

Matthew Macklin landed the vacant European middleweight title with a stunning first-round stoppage of Finland's Amin Asikainen.

The, 27-year-old Birmingham boxer, who is promoted by Ricky Hatton, caught Asikainen with a fierce left hook.

Asikainen, himself a former European champion, got up, but was put down again by a short right to end the bout.

"I was always good enough to be not just be a bogus champion but a world champion," Macklin told Sky Sports.

The Birmingham fighter, who improved his record to 25-2 with victory at the Manchester Velodrome, added: "I'm ready for [IBF middleweight champion] Sebastian Sylvester, I think it is an easier fight than tonight.

I had a feeling we would have to go through some scary moments, but I had nothing to worry about with a performance like that

Ricky Hatton

"I'll knock Sebastian Sylvester out. I've signed with Ricky - what a statement he's made bringing me a European title fight.

"I wanted to justify the opportunity to get this fight and I have."

Going into the fight, Macklin had won his previous seven fights since a 10th-round loss to Jamie Moore three years ago, but 33-year-old Asikainen represented a step up in class.

The Finn had only lost three of his 28 fights and went into the fight ranked fifth by the IBF.

And the manner of the win, prompted former two weight world champion Hatton to enthuse: "Look how he just went through a proper world-class puncher.

"I had a feeling we would have to go through some scary moments, but I had nothing to worry about with a performance like that.

"The manner with which he has won his British title and now a European title; if that doesn't show he's ready for the next stage then nothing else will."



see also
Macklin power too much for Elcock
14 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Macklin wants Birmingham revival
13 Mar 09 |  Boxing


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