It’s a great time to be a boxing fan I think. One of my favorite divisions from a domestic standpoint in Ireland and Britain is the Middleweights. You really have some top, top fighters in the division at the moment. The main men being Andy Lee, Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray, Darren Barker and on the rise undefeated Cork man – Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan.
The really impressive thing is that they are all relatively young men, and by boxing standards would be considered to be in their primes. Some of them have already fought for a world title and came up short. However this doesn’t mean that one of them wont emerge from the pack this year and become Middleweight Champion.
The man who sits on top of the division from a worldwide perspective is Sergio Martinez, pound for pound one of the best. However Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin gave him all he could handle last year and in 2011, before against both of them, Martinez managed to find a punch that sent them both on their way home. At the time of both KOs both men were doing very well on all the judges scorecards which shows the very high level they are at.
Andy Lee in 2012 was also doing very well against Chavez Jr and was winning the fight early on until he got drawn into a slug fest which was ultimately his downfall. Martin Murray by all accounts was robbed in a dubious decision against Felix Sturm back in 2011, succumbing to a German hometown decision (a similar faith which Matthew Macklin experienced).
All these boxers in Britain and Ireland have almost tasted the world title but have just fallen short at the final hurdle. Along with Gary O’Sullivan from Cork who is on the rise and plotting a future shot at Peter Quillin, I have a funny feeling that we will see at least one of these men become Middleweight Champion this year.