Expect a mixed evening for Macklin and Brook in the boxing ring
It is a big night for British boxing this weekend, but while Kell Brook is expecting to move one step closer to a world title fight in the welterweight ranks, Matthew Macklin is likely to fall short in his title challenge.
Macklin was largely considered an unfortunate loser when on the wrong end of a close points decision against Felix Sturm for the WBA middleweight title last year and has managed to quickly land another title shot.
This time it is Sergio Martinez who stands in his way, a boxer widely considered to be the third best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Martinez is 1/9 to beat Macklin and looks to hold the advantage in the speed department and is also dangerous if allowed space to throw punches from awkward angles.
Macklin will have to work well on the inside to stand a chance and keep the fight at close quarters. If he manages this then he is not without a chance at 11/2.
It will also feel like a home fight for Macklin although it is in New York, given his Irish roots and the fact that the fight is taking place on the evening of St Patrick’s Day.
But with Martinez stopping his last three opponents, the hard-hitting Argentine can triumph by KO at 4/7.
Back in Sheffield, Brook puts his undefeated record on the line in an all British clash with Matthew Hatton, with the winner almost certain to be on the cusp of following Macklin in gaining a world title fight.
Brook has the edge in terms of footwork, power and explosiveness and if given time to land his well-selected punches he should win at 1/8.
But Hatton should not be totally discounted given the fact that he has the greater experience in such a big-fight environment and showed solid battling qualities when losing to Saul Alvarez.
The smart money will be on Brook to emerge victorious on points at 1/1.